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‘Green Sahara’ tree-planting project

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French scientists have discovered that the Sahara desert was completely green 10 million years ago. This idea inspired József Steier’s Green Sahara project, reported Daily News Hungary.

There have been previous planting projects in Africa, and there are drought-tolerant species suitable for this purpose. However, planting a small amount of trees is an ineffective solution because animals feed on them and people harvest them quickly. The Green Sahara project will move from cell to cell starting at the Atlantic Ocean and moving towards the desert in a 2000-2500 km long, wedge shaped green area, arriving at Lake Chad. One cell is 25 square kilometres big. Depending on its size, one green cell can generate enough vacuum to draw rain clouds above the area. It lowers atmospheric pressure and forces the water vapour to move inland instead of pouring down on the north of the continent.

The cells will contain not only trees but other plants as well. Millet, sorghum, chilli, and vegetables will contribute to the food supply of the local population. One of the trees chosen for the project is the so called emerald tree hybrid species, which can grow 3 cm in a day under ideal conditions, and it can sustain on a certain concentration of seawater as well. It can convert ten times as much carbon-dioxide as other species, and its leaves are also edible. The emerald tree’s only disadvantage is its high water requirement, which can be halved by a Hungarian root-watering invention. It is not yet known when the Green Sahara project will begin. József Steier’s project wants to unite African, European and American economic and environmental interests to combat the issues at hand.

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