Salicornia here we come!

Another miracle plant that will save humanity. This story from the Los Angeles Times’ site (You may have to register, but it’s worth the minute or so) is about a Tucson-based physicist who has a big, big plan to turn global warming into an exciting opportunity to solve all problems forever. A couple of excerpts:

A few miles inland from the Sea of Cortez, amid cracked earth and mesquite and sun-bleached cactus, neat rows of emerald plants are sprouting from the desert floor.
The crop is salicornia. It is nourished by seawater flowing from a man-made canal. And if you believe the American who is farming it, this incongruous swath of green has the potential to feed the world, fuel our vehicles and slow global warming. . . .

He wants to channel the ocean into man-made “rivers” to nourish commercial aquaculture operations, mangrove forests and crops that produce food and fuel. This greening of desert coastlines, he said, could add millions of acres of productive farmland and sequester vast quantities of carbon dioxide, the primary culprit in global warming. Hodges contends that it could also neutralize sea-level rise, in part by using exhausted freshwater aquifers as gigantic natural storage tanks for ocean water.

Analyzing recent projections of ice melt occurring in the Antarctic and Greenland, Hodges calculates that diverting the equivalent of three Mississippi Rivers inland would do the trick. He figures that would require 50 good-sized seawater farms that could be built within a decade if the world gets cracking.

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