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Research warns solar farms may affect climate and global warming



A new study found that building large-scale solar farms in deserts around the world may have unintended consequences. Eye-opening studies claim that huge solar farms such as the Sahara Desert may cause environmental crises, including climate change and global warming.

The research was conducted by Lu Zhengyao, a researcher in physical geography at Lund University, and Benjamin Smith, research director at the Hawkesbury Institute of Environmental Studies at Western Sydney University. The results of their research were published in the “Dialogue”

; on February 11.

Solar panels are darker colors, such as black and blue, to attract and absorb more heat, but they are usually much darker than the ground around the solar panels. The article cited an article claiming that most solar panels convert sunlight into usable energy with an efficiency of between 15% and 20%. The researchers assert that the rest of the sunlight will return to the surrounding environment in the form of heat, “affecting the climate.”

This article points out that to replace fossil fuels, solar power plants will need to be huge-covering thousands of square miles. Such a huge solar power plant may have an impact on the environment not only locally but also globally.

The authors of the 2018 study said that climate models show that installing a large number of wind turbines doubles precipitation in the Sahara Desert, while solar panels will increase precipitation by 50%. The researchers reached this conclusion by determining that solar panels and wind turbines reduce the albedo of the land surface. Albedo is the part of light reflected by an object or surface.

From the conversation:

The model shows that when the scale of a solar farm reaches 20% of the total area of ​​the Sahara Desert, a feedback loop is triggered. The heat from the darker solar panels (compared to the highly reflective desert soil) creates a steep temperature difference between the land and the surrounding ocean, which ultimately reduces ground pressure and causes the humid air to rise and condense into raindrops . As the monsoon rainfall increases, plants grow and the desert reflects less solar energy because vegetation absorbs light better than sand and soil. As more plants exist, more water is evaporated, creating a more humid environment and causing vegetation to spread.

Turning the Sahara Desert into a lush oasis may have an impact on the climate around the earth, including affecting the atmosphere, oceans, and land, changing the entire ecosystem, changing precipitation in the Amazon rainforest, triggering droughts and possibly more tropical cyclones.

Researchers say that good intentions to lower the temperature of the earth may have the opposite effect and increase the temperature of the earth.

According to our model, solar farms cover 20% of the sub-Saharan area and will increase the local temperature in the desert by 1.5°C. When the coverage is 50%, the temperature rise is 2.5°C. This warming eventually spread to all parts of the world through the movement of the atmosphere and ocean, increasing the average world temperature by 0.16°C at a coverage rate of 20% and 0.39°C at a coverage rate of 50%. However, global temperature changes are not uniform-polar regions are much warmer than tropical regions, which increases the loss of Arctic sea ice. This may further accelerate warming, as the melting sea ice exposes dark water that absorbs more solar energy.

The authors conclude their article by stating on renewable energy solutions, “This may help society transition from fossil energy, but studies of the earth system like ours emphasize the importance of examining the many couplings and responses of the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface. The importance to consider,”

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