The assault on the planet’s lungs began.
By 1990’s half the planet’s forest was gone.
This on top of Carbon emissions.
Carpeting the desserts with proliferative bushes/shrubs would
completely regenerate the planet’s lungs.
Not that this would ‘hoover up’ the CO2, but it undoubtedly would
contribute to the reduction of the effects of these emissions to
pretty much the extent of the mass deforestation. Furthermore,
it would do this in pretty much the same timescale.
In the UK, Rhododendrons grow like weeds, even in forested areas.
A walk around plantations in West Sussex during 1990’s would have
displayed much evidence of this. Many varieties: deciduous types
would shed nutriment to the sand to feed both themselves and the
evergreens. Thus: year-round self-generating photosynthesis, and
an ecosystem for the “bottom end of the food chain”.
A problem of irrigation. Piping and pumping desalinated water
from coast to seeded areas being a massive operation. Needing to
keep pace with the proliferate growth. Energy for this could come
initially from sustainable sources, eventually, Molten Salt Reactors
will become available to finalise this project.
With the dessert thus covered, their real-estate value would be much
more than just the increased value due to rising sea levels.
Governments could capitalise on this demand for fertile land, thus
offsetting the initial investment.