I’ve mentioned before that there is a pattern of drought during cold times and that drought tends to cause the fall of empires in the Middle East.
It is the thesis of this study that the two Dark Ages, and the numerous disasters in the periods c. 2200-2000 and c. 1200-900 B.C., can be given coherence and can all be explained at once by a single primary cause. The cause I postulate as “historical reality” is drought-widespread, severe, and prolonged lasting for several decades and occurring more or less simultaneously over the entire eastern Mediterranean and adjacent lands.
Here’s a report saying that their are real and present water issues there. This, IMHO, is a big “Dig Here!”, but I’m tied up for the next day or two on other things.
The Middle East runs out of water
By Daniel Pipes – – Friday, May 8, 2015
A ranking Iranian political figure, Issa Kalantari, recently warned that past mistakes leave Iran with water supplies so insufficient that up to 70 percent, or 55 million out of 78 million Iranians, would be forced to abandon their native country for parts unknown.
Many facts buttress Kalantari’s apocalyptic prediction: Once lauded in poetry, Lake Urmia, the Middle East’s largest lake, has lost 95 percent of its water since 1996, going from 31 billion cubic meters to 1.5 billion. What the Seine is to Paris, the Zayanderud was to Isfahan – except the latter went bone-dry in 2010. Over two-thirds of Iran’s cities and towns are “on the verge of a water crisis” that could result in drinking water shortages; already, thousands of villages depend on water tankers. Unprecedented dust storms disrupt economic activity and damage health.
Nor are Iranians alone in peril; many others in the arid Middle East may also be forced into unwanted, penurious, desperate exile. With a unique, magnificent exception, much of the Middle East is running out of water due to such maladies as population growth, short-sighted dictators, distorted economic incentives, and infrastructure-destroying warfare. Some specifics:
They then list many middle eastern countries, but mostly concentrate on population growth and bad ideas by government, with little on actual precipitation changes. One would likely need to do things like look way upstream of Iraq at the precipitation in the mountains to have clue about the rivers.
So mostly I can only put two small thoughts here.
1) Is this in the context of drought, or really just government driven screwups?
2) What happens if this cold period does result in a real mega-drought there, again?
So two links. Saying they ARE having a real drought.
Economy | Fri Mar 7, 2014 11:01am EST
Middle East drought a threat to global food prices
AMMAN | BY SULEIMAN AL-KHALIDI
The Middle East’s driest winter in several decades could pose a threat to global food prices, with local crops depleted and farmers’ livelihoods blighted, U.N. experts and climatologists say.
Varying degrees of drought are hitting almost two thirds of the limited arable land across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.
“Going back to the last 100 years, I don’t think you can get a five-year span that’s been as dry,” said Mohammad Raafi Hossain, a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) environmental economist.
The dry season has already hurt prospects for the cereal harvest in areas of Syria and to a lesser extent Iraq. Several of the countries under pressure are already significant buyers of grain from international markets.
“When governments that are responsible for importing basic foodstuffs have shortages in production, they will go to outside markets, where the extra demand will no doubt push global food prices higher,” said Nakd Khamis, seed expert and consultant to the FAO.
The Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) shows the region has not had such low rainfall since at least 1970.
Um… weren’t the ’70s a “cold period”?… Just saying…
This one has a drought map that makes California look like the tropics compared to Iran.
With that, I have to go pay bills… Sigh. I’d much rather look up rainfall records and drought status and…
Inspired by a comment on WUWT by Doug Huffman: