Episode 2

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Ayisha Yahya explores predictions from some scientists and meteorologists that some deserts, including the Sahara, could get greener in the future and experience more rainfall.

Ayisha visits the Egyptian settlement of Abu Minqar, which is entirely dependent on water from the ancient Nubian aquifer.

Faced with ever-growing population pressure in the fertile Nile delta, and the possibility that, according to some scenarios of global warming, much of the delta may be inundated by rising sea levels, scientists in Egypt are experimenting with high-tech techniques to make the desert bloom.

Satellite and radar imaging have enabled ancient groundwater in the deserts to be identified and tapped. Using water pumped from the aquifer deep below the sand, thousands of acres of the Saharan desert have been cultivated. The Egyptian government is keen to encourage people to move to the desert by pressing ahead with a controversial plan to reclaim millions more acres of desert over the next 10 years. But is such a plan practical or sustainable?

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30 minutes

Last on

Sun 31 Jan 2010 13:30