Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mediterranean May Be Driest for 900 Years

The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is easily the worst in half a millennium, and perhaps for nearly twice as long, scientists find.

Sheep skull on withered olive tree: Drought imperils both water and food. (Image Credit: Palauenc05 via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
The drought that has blighted the eastern Mediterranean since 1998 could be the worst in nine centuries, according to new research led by scientists from the US space agency NASA.

They report in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres that they used a tree-ring chronicle – trees accurately reflect the rainfall conditions of each year in their annual growth – to establish what had happened.

They found that although the island of Cyprus and the bordering nations of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey have always tended to be dry, the latest drought is at least 50% drier than anything experienced in the region in the last 500 years, and up to 20% drier than anything 900 years ago.

Read more at Mediterranean May Be Driest for 900 Years

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