There's an interesting article in my latest Lawyer's catalog about the Great Green Wall initiative. There are plans afoot to build what is essentially a windbreak nine miles wide and 4,400 miles long from Dakar to Djibouti (east coast to west coast). This amazing multi country project will attempt to halt environmental degradation and slow creeping desertification.
In China, a Great Green Wall being planted for the same purpose will cover 42% of the country by 2050. The Chinese have planted 56 billion trees in the last ten years. There is a lot of controversy over these projects--but as the Amazon loses 2,700 million acres a year, replacing some of that biomass elsewhere can't hurt.
There is a lot of renewed interest in the windbreaks planted during the Dust Bowl period, which had a major impact on loss of topsoil then and for many years after. Lawyer's notes that most if not all of these have disappeared, making room for modern irrigation systems.
Today, as I watch my New Mexico soils heading north on every errant breeze, I am contemplating my own wind break. I am still plotting the best layout, and assembling a variety of trees and shrubs, but this spring, come hell or high water, the planting begins.