Weather Talk: Geoengineering could conceivably help Earth

Geoengineering is the manipulation of natural Earth systems in order to produce benefits. To a lot of sensible people, this sounds like wacky, science-fiction nonsense. To a number of wacky people, it is a secret government conspiracy already hap...

Geoengineering is the manipulation of natural Earth systems in order to produce benefits. To a lot of sensible people, this sounds like wacky, science-fiction nonsense. To a number of wacky people, it is a secret government conspiracy already happening.

Geoengineering is real, but instead of a government conspiracy, it is the unintentional effects of an overpopulated Earth. Deforestation adds greatly to Earth's increasing albedo, and contributes to climate change.

What if we attempted to geoengineer our planet in ways that actually cooled the climate? A recent article in Science magazine showed that large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara Desert would increase rainfall in the region by reducing albedo and wind speeds. The increased rain would create vegetation which would provide a positive feedback loop, further increasing the rain. The additional vegetation would help offset deforestation effects on Earth's climate. It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but it is not implausible.