of the last 900 years, according to a new u.s. scientific research.
The area affected by the drought, which includes Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and part of Turkey.
The researchers of the Institute for Space Studies Goddard NASA and the Î“ÎµÏ‰Ï€Î±ÏÎ±Ï„Î·ÏÎ·Ï„Î·ÏÎ¯Î¿Ï… Lamont-Doherty of Columbia University, New York, headed by the ÎºÎ»Î¹Î¼Î±Ï„Î¿Î»ÏŒÎ³Î¿ Ben Cook, make the relevant publication in the journal â€œJournal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheresâ€ of the American Geophysical Union.
The scientists based their estimates mainly on the study of rings of trees, the living and the dead.
The relevant information-concerning, and Greece – are included in the so-called “‘Atlas of Drought Old World”. The data from the trees were combined with descriptions of the climate from the historical texts. The lack or abundance of water in an area affects over time the growth of trees. As thin are the rings, the greater is considered to be the drought.
According to the new estimates, the drought since 1998 in the area of the Levant are about 50% more intense than the driest period of the last 500 years, and 10 to 20% drier than the worst drought of the previous 900 years. The researchers also found that the northern part of the Mediterranean (Greece, Italy, southern France, southern Spain) tend to be dry, when the north-east of Africa is wet and vice versa.
The variations of the drought in the Mediterranean are related to the climate of the Atlantic. At times, in the Mediterranean basin entering long streams of hot and dry air, resulting decreasing the rains, the temperature rises and eventually there’s a drought.
All the climate models estimate that the future of the Mediterranean sea, particularly at eastern, provided dry. And the new study shows that the drought in the Levant is the harbinger of what will follow.
The brown shades indicate a decrease in stocks of water in the region â€“ NASA/ Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio.