Climate Research


A Previously Underappreciated Impact on Global Warming Caused by the Geometrical and Physical Properties of Desert Sand

Authors: Yongfeng Yang, Baitian Wang, Jinjun Fan, Jian Yin

The previous researches focused on the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases exerting global warming, but not consider whether desert sand may warm the planet, this could be improved by accounting for sand's physical and geometric properties. Here we show, sand particles (because of their geometry) at the desert surface form an extended surface of up to 1 + π/4 times the planar area of the desert that can contact sunlight, and at shallow depths of the desert form another extended surface of at least 1 + π times the planar area that can contact air. Based on this feature, an enhanced heat exchange system between sunlight, desert sand, and air in the spaces between sand particles could be built up automatically, which can increase capture of solar energy, leading to rapid heating of the sand particles, and then the heating of sand particles will dramatically heat the air between sand particles. The thermodynamics of deserts may thus have contributed to global warming, especially significant to future global warming if the current desertification continues to expand.

Comments: 6 Pages. It is published at World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 59, 2011, pp 2054-2059

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Submission history

[v1] 2013-02-03 22:59:25
[v2] 2013-02-04 20:50:13

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