A Silicon Valley venture firm is currently exploring several scenarios that could slow down global warming. One of them includes the possibility of artificially flooding several deserts.
In theory we could flood half of the Sahara desert with trillions of gallons of desalinated salt water. The next step would be the creation of algae reservoirs that will be able to absorb enough carbon dioxide in order to dramatically slow global warming.
In an ideal context with unlimited funds and a favorable political climate the plan should work. While some experts believe that the plan is brilliant, others warn that such a large-scale alteration may also bring disadvantages in the long run.
The venture firm called Y Combinatory issued a formal challenge last month asking for possible solutions that may limit or completely hamper global warming. The prime argument is that humanity needs to do more in order to reverse the damage that carbon dioxide has already done.
While the project seems feasible, the costs required in order to make the jump from theory to reality are quite steep. In order to be able to pump and desalinate the amount of water needed to flood half of Sahara a massive power grid bigger than the one that powers all the homes around the world, would be needed.
According to the firm, the estimated price tag reaches $50 trillion. $50 trillion is approximately half of the global PIB for a year a cost that seems extremely daunting. The price should be reduced to billions in order to make the proposal attractive for several countries.
Losing one of a kind ecosystems
Many people think that deserts are completely barren but that is not the case. Several unique ecosystems will be destroyed by an artificial flood, a problem that will spark heated controversies.
Alternatives already exist
Many researchers argue that there are more viable solutions already available. If the Paris accord are maintained and carbon dioxide emissions continue to be regulated a change will be soon noticeable.
It remains to be seen if the initiative will gain any traction in the future.