What would be the sea level drop if the Sahara desert was flooded with sea water, and would an additional large expanse of water have any effect on global warming?
It is difficult to pin-point the effects of this change (both decrement in sea level and flooding of Sahara desert) on a global scale. However, the local habitats of desert and sea are bound to be drastically affected. Following are a few points that are not even the tip of the ice berg:
- Many species native to each of the ecosystems, particularly the desert, could potentially be wiped out due to sudden man-made flooding of deserts.
- Unwanted formation of a river could very well lead the flood back to the sea thereby rendering the entire project useless.
- Increase in humidity levels in the vicinity of the flooded region.
- Flooding the desert with salty water could jeopardize existing underground freshwater resources by contaminating them. Refer to What would be the effect of bringing seawater pipes to the Sahara desert? for more details.
- Unprecedented cost of the project with an estimated price tag at $50 trillion by Y Combinator.
- Last but not the least, there is a high probability of making things worse than the current scenario. This article supports the argument with a famous case quoted below.
Katherine Mackey, a University of California, Irvine climate scientist, noted how Australia has long tried, and failed, to combat overpopulation of native species by introducing non-native creatures. Famous case in point: toads were introduced in 1935 to tame sugar cane-eating beetles. But the toads couldn’t climb sugar cane. So the beetles thrived, alongside their new neighbors — an out-of-control toad population.
“Saying that we intervened and created a problem with global warming, so let’s further intervene, that’s not the thing to do,” Mackey said. “That’s not how you fix the problem, by replacing it with another problem.”