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Iraq’s lakes are disappearing in the wake of climate change

Recently, the Iraqi lakes were lined up by families on picnics.

Now it dries one by one – in the increasingly hot climate.

Soon the Tigris and Euphrates rivers may be next.

Lake Hamrin supplied the people and animals of Diyala province in eastern Iraq with all the water they needed.

Now the lake no longer exists.

About 150,000 hectares of farmland – an area a little larger than Öland – is no longer supplied with water. Instead, it is about to turn into a desert, Rudaw Reports.

– There was a lot of water here before. Now the sheep and the thirst are gone, young shepherd Ali Jassim tells the news site.

According to former farmer Muhannad Khaled, the disaster forced people to flee:

– It is no longer possible to find a single farmer in this area because the lake has dried up, he tells Rhodeau.

Abandoned hotels on Lake Sawa in Iraq.

cracked soil

Lake Hamrin, which was created forty years ago in connection with the construction of the dam, is only the latest in a series to be wiped out in the country.

in february dry The second largest lake in the country, Al-Razzaza, is completely covered.

Once rich in fish, the artificial lake was a magnet for swimmers and families seeking to relax among the beaches and lush fields, AP . Reports. Now it only remains soil cracking and salt.

Nothing lives. Everything died.

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Lake Sawa in April 2017 and April 2022 respectively

desolate hotel

Earlier this year something visited Agence France-Presse A third lake that recently dried up, Sawa. Aside from some signs of rust indicating a “hunting ban” and a number of abandoned and dilapidated hotels, there was nothing to reveal that the area formerly consisted of a lake and wetlands with a rich biodiversity, where birds rested on their long journeys.

The water surface has also decreased during previous droughts. But this year, for the first time, the lake has completely disappeared, environmental activist Hossam Sobhi told the news agency.

According to the United Nations, Iraq is the fifth in the world most vulnerable Climate change country. The country, with a population of 40 million, is completely dependent on water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

But according to someone alarm report From the country’s water authority last year, both of these rivers are at risk of drying up by 2040, if nothing is done.

illegal wells

The explanation can be linked to the warmer climate, which hit the Middle East in particular. Extreme heat waves are more intense and last longer while rainfall decreases, in some places as much as thirds.

Water shortages, in turn, cause neighboring countries to block upstream rivers, and farmers to dig illegal wells, lowering groundwater levels.

Researchers are now warning that the region may be too hot to sustain human life at the turn of the century if nothing is done.

Exciting sandstorms

Climate change is also being felt in other ways in the country. During the month of May, Iraq was hit by several dramatic sandstorms, which colored the sky orange.

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At least 4,000 people were taken to hospitals with respiratory problems and many schools and airports had to close, AFP states. Storms are becoming more common in the wake of warming.

On Wednesday, the Stockholm Environment Institute released a new report, which is said to be the world in something to compare to boiling point With extreme heat, high food prices, wars and conflicts.