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October 24, 2006

The Green Wall of Mongolia

There was a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) today about efforts in Mongolia to fight sand storms in the Gobi Desert that are progressively becoming worse (expanding goat herds and global warming being two main culprits). The storms frequently blanket Beijing with sand and dust, with material and haze ending up as far afield as Utah.

The solution, a $150 million dollar project to plant Alders, Junipers and other hardy plants (temperatures range in the Gobi from -40 degrees F to 110) in a huge windbreak across the country to help control the storms and dust. Experts are skeptical whether the endeavor will be successful, but Mongolians are hopeful the vegetation project will make a difference in controlling the storms.

Like any vegetation project, the difficulty lies in getting the trees and shrubs to establish and be maintained over the long term. In a couple of decades we may be referring to a second Asian wonder, the "Green Wall of Mongolia."

Image from Wikipedia

Posted by Michael O'Connell at October 24, 2006 11:47 AM


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