Geologists and climatologists analyzed the climatic history of the Middle East for the last 130 thousand years and came to the conclusion that the current drought will continue for about 10 thousand years, according to an article published in the Journal of Quaternary Science.
"The governments of the Middle East countries prefer to believe that the current climate is a temporary anomaly and that the water will return to the region in the near future.Our study shows that everything is actually the other way around and that in the future the level of precipitation will fall even more and the frequency Mediterranean thunderstorms, the main source of moisture in the region, will decrease, "said Sevag Mehterian of the University of Miami (USA).
Many climatologists and historians are trying to understand how climate fluctuations in past historical epochs and even in the last few decades could influence the course of history. For example, they recently found out that a cold snap in the 7th century AD could cause an epidemic of plague in Byzantium and lay the foundations of the power of the Arab Caliphate, and in the first third of the thirteenth century - to force the Mongols to stop the offensive against Europe.
The latest event of this kind, as some scholars now believe, is the "Arab Spring" and the wars in the Middle East, triggered by the drought that began in 2009 and the associated shortage of food and other vital commodities.
Mehteran and his colleagues found that the current drought has very deep historical roots, studying how the climate of the Middle East changed at the end of the glacial period, analyzing the isotopic composition of stalagmites in the Cala Kord cave in northwestern Iran.
Stalagmites, as the scientists explain, are virtually continuously formed inside the caves as a result of droplets and streams of water flowing down their walls and ceiling. This water, in turn, falls into the caves from the surface, and its isotopic composition reflects the climate prevailing in the region during the formation of different layers of stalagmite.
For example, by measuring the levels of oxygen-18 in the matter of stalagmites, scientists can learn not only the approximate level of precipitation in different historical epochs, but also measure the temperature at which different layers of cave deposits formed and understand how much the sun illuminated the surface of the region at the time .
Analyzing the history of the formation of stalagmites in Calais Cord for the last 130 thousand years, the scientists uncovered curious climate variations of several thousand years, which in general repeated what they had already seen when analyzing ice samples from Greenland. This means that the climate of the North Atlantic and the Middle East was inextricably linked and controlled by the same mechanisms.
These climatic variations, presumably associated with changes in the nature of the Earth's motion along the orbit or long-term fluctuations in the nature of the movement of currents in the ocean, led to the fact that the climate of the Middle East switched every few thousand years between two regimes: a relatively humid but cold climate and A warm, but arid climate.
Today, as observations by Mehteran and his colleagues show, the Middle East entered another "dry" phase, which will last approximately 10 thousand years. Therefore, we should not expect that the problems with access to water will be resolved by themselves in the coming years, scientists conclude.