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If the Sahara desert was flooded by creating a channel from the atlantic, wouldn't that solve a plethora of problems with Africa?
There would be cloud formation more inland, fresh water would fall, green-ness would cover some now arid areas. The sea-level would drop slightly. There would be an initial shock from the flood but once that's over, it's win win win, isn't it?
asked in quick, simple, solutions



Dolphinfairy answers:

Must be a reason why it's never been done, cost, labour, unwillingness for one reason or another maybe


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TallScotsGuy answers:

....that and a bloody great mountain range in the way.

It would also be one of the most inhospitable places in the world to work AND it would be the world's largest ever construction project....IN AFRICA!

I can just imagine the governments there leaving it all to the contractors. There would be no bribery and corruption, no killings, no army involvement, no disruption of supplies. A dream job!!


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Messerwisser answers:

You have to describe your idea better. The Atlantic is salty, the rain is not. Do you suggest that flooding the desert with salt water would improve something?


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P-Kasso answers:

The Sahara used to be the most fertile part of Africa until farming, agriculture, over-grazing, climate change and tree removal turned it into a dustbowl.

Admittedly that was thousands of years ago (roughly round the Ice Ages) - but there is no reason why, with the proper irrigation and careful nutrients, or even the effects of new climate changes, the region could not become once again a productive area.

If you look at the Nile today it is far different from the Nile at the time of the Egyptian Pharoahs when it was really highly fertile - which is why in great part the Egyptian civilisation flourished there.

Wikipedia has this to say on climate change and the Sahara environment at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahara_desert

Amongst a lot more extra and interesting info, Wikipedia says:

The climate of the Sahara has undergone enormous variation between wet and dry over the last few hundred thousand years. During the last ice age, the Sahara was bigger than it is today, extending south beyond its current boundaries.
The end of the ice age brought wetter times to the Sahara, from about 8000 BC to 6000 BC, perhaps due to low pressure areas over the collapsing ice sheets to the north.
Once the ice sheets were gone, the northern part of the Sahara dried out. However, not long after the end of the ice sheets, the monsoon which currently brings rain to the Sahel came further north and counteracted the drying trend in the southern Sahara. The monsoon in Africa (and elsewhere) is due to heating during the summer. Air over land becomes warmer and rises, pulling in cool wet air from the ocean. This causes rain. Paradoxically, the Sahara was wetter when it received more solar insolation in the summer. In turn, changes in solar insolation are caused by changes in the Earth's orbital parameters.
By around 2500 BC, the monsoon retreated south to approximately where it is today,leading to the desertification of the Sahara. The Sahara is currently as dry as it was about 13,000 years ago. These conditions are responsible for what has been called the Sahara Pump Theory.

Well worth a browse on the link.


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PARRY22 answers:

I can remember there was contemplation about towing icebergs to Africa. I can't remember fully. Does anyone else remember anything on these lines?


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mason.j.c. answers:

The Sahara,at over 9,000,000 kmĀ² (3,500,000 sq mi), is almost as large as the United States!

Your "quick, simple, solutions" is to dig one channel, fill it full of salty water and "solve a plethora of problems with Africa".

I know it looks small in an atlas but do you have any concept of how whacky this idea really is? Africa is the second-largest of the Earth's seven continents - covering about 30,330,000 sq km (11,699,000 sq mi), and makes up about 22 per cent of the world's total land area.


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