Most Recent Middle East Drought Was Worst in 900 Years: NASA

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tags: Middle East, Drought



Thumbnail Image -  By Tomas Castelazo - Own work, CC BY 3.0

A recent drought was the Middle East's worst in 900 years and may have been the result of climate change, according to a new study from NASA.

Countries that make up the Mediterranean Levant region—Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey—felt the effects of the drought, which NASA said occured between 1998 and 2012 and was “likely the worst drought of the past nine centuries.”

Scientists looked at tree rings to study the effects of the drought and determine when water started to become scarce; thin rings indicate dry years, while thicker rings show years with more water. They also measured the tree ring record against historical documents from the past few centuries. The tree rings showed that the most recent dry period between 1998 and 2012 was about 50 percent drier than the driest period in the past 500 years, and between 10 percent and 20 percent drier than the worst drought of the past nine centuries.




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