2016-03-16 / Mideast

NASA: Recent drought worst in 900 years

A recent 14-year dry spell in the Middle East was the worst drought in the past 900 years, according to a new NASA study.

The American space agency’s researchers examined records of rings of trees in several Mediterranean countries to determine patterns of dry and wet years across a span of nine centuries. In the study, they concluded that the years from 1998 to 2012 were drier than any other period, and that the drought was likely caused by humans, The Associated Press reported.

The study’s lead author Ben Cook said the range of extreme weather events in the eastern Mediterranean has varied widely in the past nine centuries, but the past two decades stand out.

Israel also experienced a severe drought, but its effects were significantly dampened by its array of six desalination plants. (JTA)

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