Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web

The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Fogged In

Fogged In

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, June 13, 2015/Categories: natural history, sustainability, environment

                            Fog Harvesting in the Atacama Desert  (credit: Wiki-climate)

Parts of coastal South America receive virtually no rain. The  Atacama Desert  is so dry it often is used as a surrogate for Mars where extreme biology experiments are tested.

From Peru into Central Chile, the upwelling of the Humboldt Current   pulls cold water from the debts of the Pacific Ocean to the surface. The air above the ocean is chilled producing coastal cloud banks and dense fogs. Two recent satellite photographs show how extensive this dense layer of moisture can be. The images also show how abruptly the fogs are stopped by the desert and the mountainous spine of the Andes.
                                  Coastal Peru and
Winter Cloud and Fog Banks  (credit: NASA)
                               Extent of Winter Fogs into Coastal Inland Valleys, Peru  (credit:NASA)

With a region so devoid of water but blanketed in thick fogs for months, innovative approaches are used to "harvest" the moisture and collect the water, one drop at a time. Typically, screens are vertically erected to filter the fog and condense the water droplets on a lattice structure where the water is funneled into a tank. The approach is often called "fog farming". The current approaches are primitive but now receiving some high-tech attention from the expert designers and engineers at  MIT  to improve the efficiency of the system.

"Fogged in" takes on a different and more positive meaning in some places.

Number of views (2112)/Comments (0)

Please login or register to post comments.