Friday, July 24, 2009

Could bacteria-filled balloons stop the spread of the Sahara? Architect Magnus Larsson thinks so

magnus larsson sahara image

Nearly a year ago a "Great Green Wall" of trees was proposed to run across the entire southern border of the Sahara desert in an attempt to stop expanding desertification. At the TED Global conference in Oxford, England, architect Magnus Larsson proposes another, more solid, idea to stop the spread of the Sahara: Using bacteria-filled balloons to turn the dunes into a 6000km-long desert-break.

TED's pretty good at getting video up from their presentations, but at the time of this writing it wasn't yet available, so the BBC summary will have to do:

Bacterium Would Solidify Dunes Into Stone
Larsson proposes literally solidifying dunes, turning them into sandstone. This would be done not by thousands of years of normal geologic processes, but more quickly by flooding it with a bacterium commonly found in wetlands, Bacillus pasteurii. Larsson says that the bacterium, "is a microorganism which chemically produces calcite - a kind of natural cement." …

Could Bacteria-Filled Balloons Stop the Spread of the Sahara? Architect Magnus Larsson Thinks So

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