Archive for June 2010

Drought in the Fertile Crescent

June 14, 2010

Trigo et al. have published a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology about the recent drought period (driest since 1940) in the Fertile Crescent (today’s south-eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, northern Iraq and western Iran). Precipitation decline was mostly noticeable over Iraq (up to 70%), with the suppression of rainfall particularly acute during 2007–2008. They characterized the drought in temporal and spatial scales and performed the first assessment on the associated impact in the hydrology, vegetation dynamics and cereal productions. They claimed a great impact on cereal production (wheat and barley) in the region and showed that the major grain-growing countries in the area (Syria, Iraq and Iran) were significantly affected by this drought, particularly in the year 2008. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2010.05.006

Image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided by the United State Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service and processed by Jennifer Small and Assaf Anyamba, NASA GIMMS Group at Goddard Space Flight Center.


Precipitation during the Miocene in Turkey

June 8, 2010

Akkiraz et al., from Kutahya Dumlupinar University, have analyzed palynofloras covering the time span from the Early Miocene (~20 million years ago) to the Late Miocene (~7 million years ago) in the western and central Turkey. Their results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Paleogeography, Paleoclimatoogy, Paleoecology. The presented tables, and maps showing the temporal palaeoprecipitation values can be found in doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.05.002

Sea level changes and vertical land movement in the Eastern Mediterranean

June 8, 2010

A new paper, published in the Quaternary International, provides new relative sea level data inferred from 13 archaeological sites along the coastal regions of Turkey and Israel. Anzidei et al. uses these archeological site positions with respect to the present sea level to measure of sea level changes for the last two millennial. For detail information please refer to doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2010.05.005

A review on Menderes Massif’s extensional history

June 8, 2010

A review about the structure and metamorphism of the well-researched Menderes Massif in western Turkey has been published in the latest issue of Earth-Science Reviews by van Hinsbergen. Menderes massif is among the largest continental extensional provinces in the world, and its extension is generally considered to have occurred along extensional detachments with a NE-SW stretching direction. However, restorations of the Early Miocene history show that these extensional detachments can only explain part of the exhumation history of the Menderes Massif. In this paper, author explains these restoration efforts and their main implications to the Western Anatolia. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2010.05.005

Image credit: J. Descloitres, NASA, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

Loss of ice cap on Mount Agri (Ararat) – Updated

June 8, 2010

Mount Agri (also known as Ararat) is the highest mountain of Turkey with a peak elevation of 5137 m. Today, it bears the only ice cap of the country. However, it is melting continuously! A recent study published in the Journal of Asian Earth Science showed that the Mount Agri ice cap has been lost its surface area by 29% since 1976 based on multi-temporal Landsat and ASTER satellite imagery. According to the author, the retreat rate is about 7 hectare per year. In the paper, it argued that there is a strong evidence that this retreat is mostly because of the current warming trend revealed from the meteorological stations from the region. It is added that similar shrinking trends are also evident from other Turkish glaciers. For more information, please refer to

Photo by Behesnilian