Another Worry in Iraq: Drought in the Region’s Fertile Crescent

This enhanced image from a French satellite shows the extent of a sizable area of drought in parts of Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey that has resulted from sparse rainfall over the past eight months.
Fertile Crescent drought
Earth Observatory
The rust-brown color spanning the region’s breadbasket, the Fertile Crescent, represents areas where the presence of crops and vegetation is far below normal. The drought, which began during the crucial autumn planting period and continued into the winter and early spring, has meant that not only have crops directly dependent on rainfall, such as wheat, failed, but also that there has been less water in rivers and wells for irrigation. Because of the drought, Iraqi farmers are expecting their harvest to be 50 percent lower than in 2007, while Syrian farmers believe their harvest will be 38 percent below last year’s. A high-resolution version of the image is available at NASA’s Earth Observatory.