Desert Haze and Its Effect
In recent years and in line with the changes that were made, a new form of environmental pollution has come to exist, named Haze. Researchers trace its source to different factors, such as a decrease in vegetation in the environment, desert and sand growth rate, drought of large lagoons and a change in the weather conditions of the region.
Haze consists of particles that are one twentieth size of the human hair diameter, which are suspended in the air and can reach the depth of the lungs while breathing. Haze is seen more than ever in the world, and following that, the outbreak of different types of cancer have increased, which shows a meaningful causal relation between haze and emergence of cancer.
When considering the air pollution sources, it should not be assumed that all the polluting particles in the air are in the form of gas; because, in recent years, particulates which contain small particles and liquid droplets, have caused many problems for people of the region. These particulates are, in some cases, habitable, which makes them extremely dangerous for human health. Habitable particles have two potential dangers hidden inside them. One danger is a change in the ecosystem of the region; for example, the emergence of new vegetative particulates has given rise to the growth of these vegetations in the new ecosystem and in effect they have dominated the living of dominant vegetations. Another danger of these habitable particulates is their ability of proliferation and infectivity in lungs and bodies of people of the region. These particulates can transfer different kinds of bacteria, algae and mold. Considering all these facts we must note that it is not possible to fight haze in short-term and long-term planning, based on ecological researches, and must be considered to achieve certain objectives.
Methods That Have Been Used or Proposed in These Years
1- MULCHING Oil
Mulch is a combination of petroleum products that has high viscosity and weight. This characteristic of Mulch has lead into its use in stabilizing running sand in desert.
1-1- Disadvantages of Mulching Oil
Vast mulching of oil on running sand and hills, to stop them from moving, has harmful consequences, which are listed below:
- Mulch looks like tar and thus it has a dark color and a high heat absorption coefficient and if they are spread on a vast scale, they will become hotter compared to their environment, especially in the summer, and they destroy the energy balance of the environment and this leads into emergence of wind and whirlwind in the area, which not only will erode and wipe away the mulch, but also increase the movement of sand hills.
- Eroded mulch will spread in the area and pollute everything.
- Not only will the mulch powder endanger human lives, but also will endanger vegetation’s by obstructing their stoma, poison agricultural products, decrease the amount of production and most of all, expose the consumers of these products to unknown biochemical conditions.
- Mulches also leak into underground water sources over long periods of time and pollute them.
- Mulch will also pollute soil in medium term, which will certainly have really harmful consequences.
- A number of organic compounds in mulch, evaporate under the heat of sun over time, and enter the environment, polluting it in the process. Although the adverse effects of these compounds are still unknown, but they certainly are harmful.
- The harmful effects of this chemical compound are extensive; therefore, although it may seem to be useful in stabilizing running sand to an extent, but it is wise not to use this dangerous compound.8. Mulch takes out the fertility of soil. Research shows that mulch absorbs the nitrogen sources in the soil, draining the fertility of it. Therefore, it is recommended to fertilize the soil before mulching it, which is not quite cost efficient considering the vast amount of dry land to be mulched.
2- Biological Mulching
This mulch is a viscous polymeric compound, which will cause a conjunction between the bits and pieces of soil and sand on the surface of the soil, after it is spread; today in the world, Mulches are made and used as petroleum, chemical or biological compounds, in different formations.Biological mulches are mainly biopolymers with a vegetative, animal and microbial source, which are able to stabilize aggregates by creating chemical bonding and physical connections.After conducting required experiments on 20 different types of mulch, using different biological polymers, three types of biological mulch were qualified after taking on field assessments for “controlling haze, stabilizing running sand and stabilizing soils that are under wind erosion”.
2-1- Disadvantages of Biological Mulching
- Their time-limited use
- The high cost of this mulch
Just these two disadvantages make these mulches their application everywhere –due to the vast areas that need mulching- ineffective.
3- Weather Adjustment Devices
The names of “Weather and Climate Quality Adjustment Device”, “Electrostatic Precipitator” or “Ion Shield” are quite known. This advanced technology is only available to a limited number of countries. “Ion Shield” is one of these technologies which makes rain, makes clouds, lowers the temperature, dissolves mist, and recently was used to decrease haze, by Cloud Communication. This system creates ions by electricity and radiates them in heights (about 10 kilometers). In effect, a charged layer and space will be created at the high portion of atmosphere, and the space will become bipolar (positively and negatively charged). Therefore, the particles (dust and haze) in this bipolar space will become charged and attract each other and become heavy and sink on a short path. This process also increases humidity in the charged space and leads into heaviness of the particles and their fall.This technology is used, on a smaller scale, in steel and cement plants, for lowering the amount of haze, with the exception that plants have a closed and controllable environment. Emission of frequencies in open spaces must be looked into, since its effect on humans and animals is still unknown.
3-1- Disadvantages of Weather Adjustment Devices
- Ion shield makes particulates heavy and sink, by making them magnetic. Naturally, due to an increasing number of particulates, this method is not appropriate. Also, researches show that the created magnetic field for charging these particulates is quite strong. Therefore, its harmful effects, as opposed to the ability to control the particulates (and this is not even on a large scale) are much more.
- The effects of ion emission on humans and animals are unknown. The efficiency of this system has not been recorded in any country and none of the western and advanced countries have ever used this system.
- The cost of this system is really high.
4- Returning to the Basic Ecosystem and Desert Greening by Regeneration of Water Sources
Many researchers believe that the best way to fight haze is to return to the initial ecosystem. Based on this thought, the haze and dust must be stopped by planting desert brambles and thistles, which require little water to survive. Also, regenerating the lagoons will dampen the dust and make them heavy. This is the most basic way of fighting haze and dust.
4-1- Disadvantages of Returning to the Basic Ecosystem and Desert Greening by Regeneration of Water Sources
- In many cases, the infrastructures of this method have been lost.
- A long time is required to return to the initial state.
- This system has a high cost.
5- Nano Grids
Recently, Nano grids were made to capture particulates. These Nano grids isolate and trap particulates by grading them. The idea is to make Nano window grids that can stand open space and changes in the temperature and are washable. Figure 5 shows a sample of these grids.
5-1- Disadvantages of Nano Grids
- A large number of these grids are required, in different sizes, which entails a high cost.
- The problem of stabilizing these grids is one of the main issues of these tools.
- These grids will be buried in extreme storms and so they will be ineffective.
6- Spreading Pebble
This phenomenon is getting more and more serious every year and with the climate change and temperature rising, causing more problems. Pebbles in these areas are applied to the grains that are bigger than sand and stops the sand from moving and making haze. This phenomenon can be avoided by transferring and spreading then rolling down pebbles in the regions that are the source of haze and dust, which not only will cost less, but will not have different consequences of mulching, such as bad smell, fading of vegetation’s and ….
6-1- Disadvantages of Spreading Pebble
- How to spread this volume of pebble in the desert and acquire the required material and pebble mines are one of the disadvantages of this method. To solve this problem, the idea of a pebble spreading truck was proposed. To make a pebble spreading truck, we will use two metal plates which are placed in an adjustable mode, that will be linked to the back of the loading space of a tip-truck and we must consider the following issues, when making this truck:
- In order for the pebble spreading truck to spread a much bigger area with pebbles, the width of the pebble spreading plates must be more than the width of the truck.
- One of the pebble spreading plates must be quivering to make the pebble spreading a continuous act.
- A quivering grain must be place at the top of the loading space of the pebble spreading truck, to grain the pebbles as the truck is loading the pebbles by the loader.
- Unfortunately, this method is expensive and almost impossible due to the large scale of the desert and the inability to spread pebbles in a wider area.
7- Using the Methods of Changing the Mineral Chemistry of the Soil
7-1- Disadvantages of Using the Methods of Changing the Mineral Chemistry of the Soil
- Unfortunately this method will change the chemistry characteristics of the soil.
- The stabilizing period of this method is quite short.
- The main disadvantage of this solution is its inability to resist the seasonal floods, in a way that when heavy rain starts this solution is washed away.
8- Using Nano Technology and Clay Particles
Nano clays are particles that have a great space between them and if they are exposed to a little humidity, they can absorb and keep dampness in them. Nano clay particles can settle and sit on the dust and sands in the desert and stop them from rising. Experiments show that Nano clays are extremely stable and are much more effective compared to mulching methods.
8-1- Disadvantages of Using Nano Technology and Clay Particles
- In drought years, with the dampness leaving the soil, Nano clays will act like dust themselves, due to their lightness and breaking down and abrasion.
- Problems and dangers of Nano clays for human health and environment have been unknown until now and therefore this method has a high risk exposure.
9- Presenting A New Method
9-1- Advantages of the New Method
- Making an Eco-friendly material that will not destroy the ecosystem of the region that uses the material. In fact, they are not poisonous and are identical to ecosystems.
- Maintaining the properties of the soil in order to regenerate vegetations based on long term objectives and maintaining the strength of the soil. Considering this fact, it is necessary to introduce a mineral, with the same characteristic of the region’s soil, by identifying the soil of the region.
- Low production cost
- The ability to aerial spreading of this mulch and using airplanes and optimizing the spreading fashion, such as the height, surface and uniformity of spreading, and the type and mechanism of the performance of spreading tools.
- Considering the technological limits, the method of production and application of this new material should be performed easily and in large scale.
- This method will not harm the soil of the region.
- Vegetation has an opportunity to grow in this method.
- The soil of the region will have the ability to absorb water, based on weather conditions. In fact, this method enables absorption of water in the shortest amount of time.
- Fertilization of soil with minerals and organic materials.
- It can be spread it in a vast area.
- It is resistant against sunlight and wind.
- It has a long life cycle and can last really long.
- It won’t change the color of the environment.
- Its final cost is low.
- In this formulation, soil enriching materials and chemical and organic fertilizers can be used.