Page 5 - Perspective Paper
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scales” (Chapin et al., 2022). By focussing on finding the right cross-scale alignment and positive synergies
               between important leverage points – e.g. vision, social norms and human agency – it could open up novel
               pathways towards restoring the relationship between society and nature as part of the biosphere.

               Any project as bold and innovative as the Bardawil & Sinai Initiative involves a degree of uncertainty and
               disagreement, but history suggests there is much to be gained from starting at the earliest opportunity,
               adopting an open, proactive, adaptive approach, and learning by doing. And there is much to lose by waiting
               or failing to act at all. Given the challenge of planetary restoration that now confronts us, a regreened Sinai
               could become a source of inspiration and a symbol of hope.

               Climate research has made tremendous advances over the past years, enabling a new perspective on how
               we can integrate state-of-the-art science into climate change mitigation strategies which could catalyse
               action and, in turn, build resilience and contribute to our overall understanding of Earth’s systems. Knowing
               uncertainty is inevitable in the realm of the Earth system science, we might be better off taking first stock of
               what we  do know.  In  this  way  we  define  the  scientific  basis  for  regreening  ASALs  as  a  climate  change
               mitigation strategy and alongside, more clearly identify the crucial unknowns. Any restoration effort will
               require a certain amount of energy and resources for it to be realised, and the feasibility, effectiveness and
               local-to-planetary influence is location-dependent. Efforts should harmonize cross-scale conflicts and hinge
               on the premises that the project is sustainable and the outcome is politically, economically, socially and
               ethically favourable.

               Acknowledging that the complexity of system Earth makes it impossible to come to definite outcomes – this
               paper is an open invitation to add knowledge, to point out examples, to comment, assess and to critically
               discuss this proposal with the aim of improving our capabilities to combat global climate change via strategic
               regreening. In particular, key knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of the bi-directional interactions
               between the land surface and the atmosphere/climate system.

               In this paper we explore the topics that are relevant for assessing the potential of regreening ASALs as a
               holistic,  resilient  climate  change mitigation  strategy. Firstly,  the  root  causes  of  degradation  are  studied
               through palaeoclimatology in order to predict the general feasibility of revegetation and discussed in Section
               2. The role of the biosphere in governing weather and climate is discussed in Section 3, to gain insight on the
               capability of vegetation to alter atmospheric processes and the degree to which a project is expected to be
               self-sustaining in the long-term with respect to water resources. Lastly, the relevancy of the discussed topics
               to the Sinai Peninsula are discussed in Section 4. In Section 5 we close this paper with some final remarks.

               A strategic ‘living systems’ approach to climate stabilization                          5/26
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