Iraq

The Not-So Fertile Crescent

| Tue Jul. 28, 2009 6:22 PM EDT

Last week came news that the Colorado River may go dry. Could the Fertile Crescent be next?

Akio Kitoh of Japan's Meteorological Research Institute thinks so—he forecasts that the Crescent will disappear in this century.

Several factors have contributed to the depletion of the once-lush Mesopotamian marshes, where the Euphrates and Tigres rivers converge. Dams constrict water flow, drought grips the area, and Iraqis are increasingly draining the water for agricultural purposes.

There have been efforts to make the area fertile once again. But if conditions don't change dramatically, the cradle of civilization may eventually be no more.

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