Middle East Water Project

Preface

"Every body talks about the weather, but no body does anything about it , " not so the climates! The study I have undertaken is about the possibility of providing abundant water for Middle East, and even probably changing its climate. The articles mentioned in the reference section have been pulled out of tens of thousands of articles on the web. Up to today there are over 260'000 articles about only the Caspian Sea on Google Search alone, and considering all the other topics I had to tap, it becomes clear that a truely extensive study has been done. The bulk of this study was conducted in the early parts of 2001, and carried on till the later parts of 2003. The matter was approached first by studying the whole section on Climate, on encyclopedia britannica cd 2000, as the base. There were other non-internet sources involved too when ever needed. In this period numerous emails were sent to some of the governments and centers deemed interested in the subject.
The study presented has 3 parts.
When a discrepancy about the direction of winds over the Bay of Bengal came up, the Climate Prediction Center of USA was contacted. The email included here, under the heading of  'to britannica' which was sent through the feed back system of Britannica, is self explanatory.
In this undertaking I am indebted to abdnet and kimianet, Karaj, Iran, for their generous rate cuts, but especially to SunByte computer office and its owner and director Mr. Engineer Ali Khebkhah, and his two sons, Ehsan and Saman, without whose help I would have never been able to pull through the many times of technical difficulties I was stuck in while operating the computer. I have to add that I also have used the computer system of Syosset Public Library, Syosset, NY, USA, in my now and then trips to US,  extensively and for that I am grateful to all the staff who helped me there. Finally, the editing and compiling was done with the dedicated help of Saman, whose ingenuity and versatility in computer sciences, at his early age of only teens, has never ceased to amaze me.  Farhang Bakhtiar, po box 1311, Mehr Villa, Karaj 31375-1311, IRAN     email addresses:  farhang_bakhtiar2000@yahoo.com and Webmaster@fbakhtiar.com       
October 2004       edited Nov. 2006 & May 2007

Middle East Water Project, part 1

Middle East has two main enviromental problems which are: the drying of Aral Lake, and the general dryness of its climate. In final analysis these two are inter-related and both can be remedied by providing water for the area. The drying up of Aral Lake is caused by diverting too much water from its feeding rivers for agricultural purposes.
My studies contain 3 parts:
1- How it is possible to  revive the Aral Lake (located between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), which its drying would pose a sever enviromental hazard to the area, and at the same time provide abundant water for the region.
2- A study of South Asian Monsoon rain system, and trying to find out why India gets so much rain through the the Bay of Bengal but Arabian Sea located in the same latitude and in a symetrical position gives almost none to Arabian Peninsula and Iran.
 3-What can possibly be done about the matter.
Explaining briefly the hazards of the drying of the Aral  Lake, they are: the threat to its aquatic life, and the blowing around of the salt and other dried up chemicals by the winds toward the trees and agricultures in the area.
About the first part what I am proposing is a humongous but feasible multi national project at a cost of about 100 billion dollars, and I already have sent emails about this  to some of the governments of the region. I believe considering the rewards which could include even a change of the climate of this region, and that of North African Sahara too, to their lush green states of only the recent past (as we shall see), this is not a very high price to pay. I have to add too that this is only a fraction of the known money the Arab Gulf States alone are known to have in Western banks only (any where from 800 to 1300 billion dollars), and they are all in dire need of water. This project can be done in a rather short time span if with the accurate planning the works are started in many different sites simultaneously. I also believe when all the fighting parties in this region see that there could be so much arable land available for them, this would be a major incentive towards peace and cooperation instead war and bloodshed.
The theme of my proposal is to tap the river Volga. This is a huge river, runnig in Russian mainland, with an output of about 250 km3 annually (about 5 times that of Nile River in Africa ) , and ending in Caspian Sea. Only about half of that water would be enough to revive Aral Lake and provide abundant water for Middle East also, mainly Eastern Iran and whole Arabian Peninsula. To do this two problems have to be answered: The first is that this river is the main supplier of the Caspian Sea (which is really a lake but the largest in the world, and its water level is 26-28 meters below that of the open seas), and without this river it would meet the same fate as that of Aral Lake. The second problem is that the Volga River runs in a land less elevated than lands in Iran and Arabia.
For the first part I am proposing a canal between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. This canal should be only large enough to resupply the evaporative losses of the Caspian Sea but not cause flooding of its coastal regions. Such a situation already exists between the Caspian Sea itself and the small gulf on its right side called Kara BogazGol, where a permanent difference between the water levels of the two sides exist. Unlike the water of Kara Bogaz Gol which is extremely salty and supports no life ( because the water only enters it and evaporates leaving the salt behind but can not circulate because its water level is 3 meters below that of the Caspian Sea), it will take 435 years (as we shall see) before the salinity of Caspian Sea water which is only about 12.7 thousandth per part now (and this is about one third the salinity of the open seas) would reach the open seas salinity. I will also supply reasons that by using this water, the climate of the region should change long before that, and then the water of Volga River would no longer be needed. A check gate could also be provided  for added security. Up to that time the increased salinity should pose no threat to aquatic life as a whole, and it could even help the over growth of algae at some coastal lagoons . The documentations of what I have stated would be included in subsequent pages.
About the problem of land altitude, I am proposing that the water of Volga River be used INDIRECTLY, which is, to obtain the needed water (15 km3 annually for Eastern Iran , and 50 km3 which is equal to Nile River for whole Arabian Peninsula,  high up in the mountains from the sources of Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers.  These two are also very large rivers and able to give so much water. Aral Lake can be fed from Volga River directly as we shall see in the note below. This water can be carried  by open canals, or many large bore tubes as need be, and then the lands deprived of these two rivers be supplied from Volga River.

NOTE:

Amu Darya River, with an annual out put of  44 km3 (one km3 = one milliard cubic meters), originates from the Pamir Mountains. Syr Darya, with an annual out put of 22 km3 ,originates from Tian Shan Mountains, through Kara Darya and Naryn rivers. Both of these two mountain ranges are very high mountains, each having  more than one peak of over 7000 meters, making them ideal donors for overcoming the heights of Middle East. Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers both  end in Aral Lake.

The area where Volga River is originating from, in Valdai Hills, has an elevation of 225 meters. Volga is the major river feeding the Caspian Lake (Caspian Sea).

Turan Plain, which Kara Kum desert is the southern extension of it, now is the main bed of the two rivers of  Amu Darya and Syr Darya. According to the colouring of the map I have (not a web material), which indicates the elevation of the land, except for some hilly spots, this area generally has an elevation of less than 200 meters, and sloping down towards the Aral Lake which is only 48 meters above the open seas level now. There is even an area of 81 meters below the open seas level there. Those hills have elevations of up to 1000 meters (Britannica cd 2006). As we see, Volga River, although lying low itself, can still be used to feed both the Aral Lake and the lands now supplied by Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. How ever, for any contingencies, few other rivers are also available in this region and I only name 3 of them. These rivers can be used as a backup, either locally, or for supplying part of the needed water for Middle East:

1-     Ob River, with an annual output of 394 km3, originating from Altay Mountains, with the highest peak of 4506 meters. The out put of this river is more than one and half times of Volga River but it is somewhat remote to be used as the principal source. Also, for transport to Middle East, its origin is not as elevated as those of Amu Darya and Syr Darya .

2-     Irtysh River, with an annual output of 68 km3, originating also from Altai Mountains. This is actually the major tributary of the Ob River, and joins the former, and together end in the Gulf of Ob, which is a part of the Kara Sea, itself a continuation of Arctic Ocean. Irtysh is closer and more suited as a back up than the Ob River itself.

3-     Ural River, which is the closest to the area, well suited for replacing Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers partially (for the hilly regions) but its annual output of  only12.5 km3 will not be enough for Middle East. Also its origin from Ural Mountains, with the highest peak of  only 1895 meters is not elevated enough for overcoming Middle East highlands. Ural River like the Volga River ends in the Caspian Sea.

  I also would like to add that the proposed canal between Black Sea and Caspian Sea would create a badly needed water way for the region, and even after the water of Volga no longer is needed it can be kept open and even enlarged ( or another canal added for better circulation of water ). In this case pulling back the coastal installations slowly, by encouraging the new constructions in more elevated areas as the old  ones dilapidate, should not be a major hurdle in a time span of 435 years. If such is decided upon, the area of the Caspian Sea would increase about 25% (according to the map mentioned above). This increase would almost all be in the northern part which has an average depth of less than 5 meters now, and it would increase it to about 30 meters. This increase of depth then would make Caspian Sea amenable even to ocean liners.

Part One Documentations

There are 3 articles here , the first one is about salinity of Caspian Sea ( under the heading The Caspian ). The second is about the output of Volga River ( here stated 241 km3 annually ) , and the volume of Caspian Sea (78700 km3 ) , and since it is about one third salinated now , and only about half of  Volga output would be needed , the figure of 435 years would be arrived at , before reaching the salinity of the open seas. Although in the first few years more water would be needed to make up for the past losses of Aral Lake, still the figure of 435 years would change only a little. In the same article there is a reference to the dept of Caspian Sea in different parts. Article 3 is about Kara Bogaz Gol, and the difference of the water levels on both sides.
 
          The first article :     

National CBD Report for I.R.Iran

1. Current Status of Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Islamic Republic of Iran

1. 1 Geographical and land characteristics

The Islamic Republic of Iran comprises a land area of 1. 64 million km2. It lies in the northern part of the temperate zone, between latitudes 25o00’ and 39o47’ north and longitudes 44o02’ and 63o02’ east. The average altitude is over 1200 m. Iran is bordered by Turkmenistan, the Caspian (over 900 km of coastline), Azerbaijan, and Armenia in the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east, the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf in the south (1850 km of coastline), and Iraq and Turkey in the west. The country features three main climatic zones:

Arid and semi-arid regions of the interior and far south, which are characterized by long, warm and dry periods, lasting sometimes lasting over seven months, and covering nearly 90% of the country. The annual precipitation rate in such regions varies between 30 and 250 mm.

Mediterranean climate (mainly in the western Zagros mountains, the high plateau of Azerbaijan, and the Alborz moiuntains), characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, damp winters, with annual rainfall between 250 mm and 600 mm, and covering about 5% of the land surface.

Humid and semi-humid regions (mainly in the Caspian, but also in west Azerbaijan and the southwest Zagros), with an annual precipitation rate of 600 mm to 2000 mm, also covering about 5% of the land surface.

The six main watersheds are: Caspian; Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, Uroomiyeh; Markazi (Central); Hamoun (eastern); and Sarakhs (northeastern). The total annual volume of precipitation in these main basins (28-year average, 1969-1997) is estimated at 408 thousand million m3.

The relief and climatic variations have given rise to five biomes (see map and Annex 1),

namely:

Irano-Touranian (ITP): Arid and semi-arid plains and desert.
Irano-Touranian (ITM): Arid and semi-arid mountains.
Zagrosian (Z): Semi-arid Zagros mountains.
Hyrcanian (H): Semi-humid and humid Arasbaran and Hyrcanian mountains and Caspian plain.
Khalijo-Ommanian (KO): Dry southern coastal plains with high humidity.

1. 2. Flora and fauna

Most of Iran is located in the Palaearctic realm and is considered the center of origin of many genetic resources of the world, including many of the original strains of commercially valuable plant species such as wheat, or medicinal and aromatic species. The southwest has some Afro-tropical features, while the southeast has some species from the Indo-Malayan sub-tropical realm.

Iranian habitats support some 8, 200 species of plants (a conservative estimate), almost 1, 900 of which are endemic. There are 12. 4 million hectares of woodland, and some 8, 900 hectares of Avicennia mangroves along the Persian Gulf coast. Field studies confirm the presence of over 500 species of birds and 160 species of mammals.

The wetlands of Iran are globally significant. Large populations of migratory birds winter at these wetlands or use them on their way to and from wintering areas in Africa or the Indian Sub-continent. The marshes of the south Caspian lowlands in Iran's northwest are particularly important for over 20 species of ducks and geese while the mud flats of the Persian Gulf coast are of critical importance for shore birds, gulls and terns. A variety of marine mammals is observed in the southern waters of Iran.

At present only protected areas afford reliable protection to Iran's biodiversity. In the unprotected areas biodiversity is diminishing rapidly; during the last 30 years 1. 2 million hectares (40%) of Iran’s deciduous temperate forest have been destroyed. Rangelands and marginal farmlands are vulnerable to desertification, which is being exacerbated by soil erosion, over-grazing and over-exploitation of marginal farming areas. Coastal habitats and water resources are being degraded by oil, industrial and agricultural pollution and over fishing. In addition, large tracts of wetlands (called "hoor") were devastated during the eight years imposed war, and require restoration.

1. 3 Aquatic living resources

In Iran, the availability of water sources, such as rivers, springs and lakes, determines the scope, location and the sustainability of all human activities. Iran, with two of the world's most arid deserts, Dasht-e-Kavir and Dasht-e-Lut covering nearly one third of the country, is one of the most arid regions of the world.

Marine living resources play an important role in the food security of the country. Many of the aquatic resources are exclusive to the region, and therefore are of great importance in the context of biological diversity. Seafood protein comprises the largest proportion of protein consumption in the world. In Iran, fish consumption has increased in the last two decades, but it is still below the average global consumption, at about one third of international rates. The marine environment of Iran comprises two distinct water bodies, namely, the Caspian to the north, and the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman to the south.

1. 3. 1 The Caspian

The Caspian, the largest lake in the world, is located in the northern part of Iran. The area of the Caspian is about 422, 000 km2 with 6397 km coastline, of which more than 900 km is on the Iranian side. About 128 large and small rivers flow into the Caspian from Iran, the four largest being Sefidrood, Shalman, Shafarood, and Tonekabon. The highest salinity level, 12. 7 parts per thousand (about one third of ocean salinity) is reached during the summer. The average water temperature in the coastal regions throughout the year ranges from 15. 9oC to 17oC. Water temperature difference between the coldest area (in the northern parts of the Caspian) and the warmest area (in the south) is 4oC during winter and 16oC during summer.

Commercial fish: There are over 120 species of fish the southern Caspian, which are commercially divided into sturgeons and bony fishes. The bony fishes are further divided into kilka (small fish of the family Clupeidae) and other species. The main commercial species are as follows:

  • Sturgeons: Beluga Huso huso, Russian sturgeon Acipenser guldenstadti, Iranian sturgeon A. persicus, and Sevruga A. stellatus. Iranian caviar, a famous and exclusive product worldwide, is produced by these species.
  • Kilkas: Clupeonella delicatula, C. engrauliformis, C. grimmi.
  • Other bony fishes: Kutum Rutilus frisii kutum, Mullets Mugil auratus and M. saliens, Carp Cuprinus carpio, Bream Abramis brama, Pike-perch Lucioperca lucioperca, Roach Rutilus rutilus and Salmon Salmo trutta caspius.

1. 3. 2 Southern waters

Two important water bodies are located along the southern borders of Iran. The Persian Gulf has an area of 232, 850 km2, which stretches 930 km from the Arvandrood river to the Sea of Oman Sea, with an average width of 288 km. The maximum water depth reaches 280 m with an average of 38 m. The Persian Gulf is one of the warmest areas in Asia. The highest and the lowest water temperatures recorded are 40oC and 13. 8oC. Although the salinity of the Persian Gulf is alleviated through its connection to the open sea, it is still more saline than the open sea and ranges between 37 to 50 parts per thousand.

The Sea of Oman is surrounded by Iran in the north, the Indian Ocean in the east, and Oman in the southeast. The water temperature is lower than in the Persian Gulf, because of the water depth and its connection to the open sea. The highest and lowest surface water temperatures recorded are 23oC and 19. 8oC respectively.

Different species of marine mammals are observed in the southern waters of Iran, including blue whale Sibbaldus musculus, fin whale Balaenoptera physalus, sperm whale Physeter catodon, humpback whale Megaptera musculus, common dolphin Delphinus delphis, black finless porpoise Neomeris phocaenoides, and dugong Dugong dugon.

1. 3. 3. Aquaculture

In order to ensure national food security, and to compensate the regulatory limitations in fish catch, Iranian Fisheries Organization(“Shilat”) has tried to increase the production of commercially valuable species. Concentrated efforts to develop aquaculture throughout the country were initiated in the 1980’s. In 1992 fish production in inland water bodies and fish farms was about 12% of total fishery production. One of the recent activities of Shilat is propagation of shrimp culture along the southern coasts, as well as hatcheries to produce shrimp larvae such as Penaeus merguiensis and P. semisulcatus. Lack of regulations regarding site selection and effluent characteristics is one of the concerns of environmental officials. The effluents of fish farms, carrying large loads of organic matters and in some cases chemicals, adversely affect aquatic resources including bottom vegetation in riverbed or coastal waters.

1. 3. 4 Rivers

Iran has more than 3, 450 rivers (including seasonal rivers). Within the six main watersheds there are 37 major river basins. The most important (with their average annual flow) are: Karoun River (Persian Gulf) 14, 619 million m3; Dez (Persian Gulf) 8, 825 million m3; Sefidrood (Caspian) 6, 491 million m3; Aras (Caspian) 2, 317 million m3; Zayandehrood (Markazi) 1, 473 million m3; Atrak (Sarakhs) 877 million m3; Hirmand (Hamoun) 142 million m3; the inflow to Lake Uroomiyeh (from all rivers) is 5, 971 million m3. These figures show clearly that the head of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian receive the highest flows, while the other four watersheds receive relatively low inflow. Rivers are natural habitats for aquatic species, small animals, water birds and a specialized flora.

1. 4 Coastal regions

Coastal regions have important economic values. Many infrastructure facilities, such as harbors and power plants are constructed in these regions. A large variety of plant and animal species is observed in the coastal ecosystems. Mangrove forests are unique coastal wetlands, important fish as habitats. Marine turtles, many on the endangered list, live in these ecosystems. The following marine turtles have been observed in Iranian waters: Green Turtle Chelonia mydas, Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea, Olive Ridley Turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta, Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata, and Black Turtle Chelonia aqaziz (recently reported for the first time).

1. 5 Agriculture

Agriculture, utilizing biological resources of various ecosystems, has an intimate relation with biological diversity. Thirty three million hectares of the land area are classified as arable, however only 18. 5 million hectares are under cultivation, ten million hectares of which are dependent on rainfall. Annually irrigated crops occupy 5. 7 million hectares, and 1. 6 million hectares are permanently irrigated. There is potential to increase the amount of irrigated crops to nearly twice the present level, but this has not been achieved, due to a variety of limitations and problems including shortage of water and serious threats of soil degradation.

In spite of the climatic diversity and genetic variety of plants in Iran, most improved agricultural plants are grown from imported varieties, which are susceptible to pests and diseases, resulting in excessive use of pesticides. It is estimated that 1000 plant varieties have been lost because of lack of comprehensive management policies. With over 120000 livestock units in the country, only 30% of the national meat consumption are produced domestically. The reasons include: population growth, weakening of traditional rangeland and livestock management systems and their capacity to supply expanded markets, the low added value in livestock production, the lack of balance between rangelands and modernized methods of animal breeding. For example, instead of making better economic use of 20 million tons of manure produced yearly, chemical fertilizers are used. Despite demonstrable detrimental environmental effects, consumption of chemical fertilizer increased from 300 tonnes in the mid 1950s to 700, 000 in 1978 and 2, 500, 000 tonnes in 1992, but dropped back to 2, 200, 000 tonnes in 1996, possibly for economic rather than environmental reasons.

1. 6 Forests and rangelands

1. 6. 1. Forests

Today forest areas cover some 12. 4 million hectares (about 7. 5% of the area of the country) It has been estimated that this figure was about 18 million ha. 40 years ago. The forests of Iran can be classified in five zones as follows:

  • Caspian broadleaf deciduous forests consist of a rather narrow green belt in the north of Iran with a current area of about 1. 9 million hectares, whilst it was some 3. 4 million hectares 45 years ago. The yield of these forests has been reduced from 300 tons/ha. to 100-110 tons/ha. during the last four decades.
  • Arasbaran broadleaf deciduous forests are in the northwest of Iran, with many endemic species, very degraded, with only 60, 000 hectares of the original 500, 000 remaining.
  • Zagros broadleaf deciduous forest consist mainly of oak forest in the west of the country. This forest has an area of 5. 5 million hectares and currently produces 8 tons/hectare biomass compared to 12 million hectares and 125 tonnes/hectare five decades ago.
  • Irano-Touranian evergreen juniper forests; almost all high-mountain environments of the country outside the deciduous forest areas, were covered by the Persian Juniper Juniperus polycarpus. The area of these juniper forests was estimated at around 3. 4 million hectares 50 years ago with a biomass of 30 tonnes/hectare. Currently the most optimistic figures are 500, 000 hectares, with a biomass of 5 tonnes/hectare. In addition there are currently 2. 5 million hectares of other evergreen forest.
  • Semi-savanna thorn forests, with an area of about two million hectares, cover narrow bands in the west of the country and a wider belt in the south along the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. The biomass of these forests is currently estimated at 2 tonnes/hectare. Unfortunately no data are available on the former area and biomass of these forests.

1. 6. 2 Rangelands

Rangelands comprise some 54. 8 % of the total land area of the country, covering more than 90 million hectares. They play the most important role in soil protection. The condition of 16% of the rangelands is excellent, whereas 66% are in favorable to medium condition and 18% are in poor and degraded form. They can be classified in three types:

  • Summer rangelands: Production per hectare 580 kg of dry biomass. Mainly in humid and semi-humid zones of the Caspian and high plateau of Azerbaijan. Area 14 million hectares.
  • Winter rangelands: Production per hectare 184 kg of dry biomass. Mainly in the Mediterranean and semi-arid zones in western Zagros and Alborz mountains. Area 60 million hectares.
  • Arid rangelands: Production per hectare 52. 5 kg of dry biomass. Mainly around central arid zones. Area 16 million hectares.

1. 7 Wetlands

Wetlands occupy the transitional zone between permanently wet and generally dry environments, sharing characteristics of both aquatic and terrestrial environments but not belonging exclusively to either. Under the Ramsar Convention (adopted at the Iranian city of Ramsar on the Caspian coast in 1971), wetlands are defined as “areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters”. The Convention also provides that they “may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six meters at low tide lying within the wetlands”. Therefore, wetlands are everywhere, and it is probably simplest to think of the Convention as having an interest in the management of all water ecosystems (whether permanent or temporary, natural or artificial) which are not deep marine waters. Iran has designated 20 sites, covering about 0. 7% of the country for the Ramsar “List of wetlands of international importance”(Annex 1).

1. 8 The national protected area system

The protected area and reserve system provides the core areas for biodiversity conservation. This reserve system is not sufficient in itself for long-term conservation, and must be harmonized with conservation efforts in other areas and land-uses. In Iran, areas protected by the Department of Environment cover 8. 2 million hectares (about 5% of the land area, Annex 1). The Department of Environment’s goal is to increase this proportion to 10% of the national land area. Limited tourism and research occurs in these areas. Details of the four categories of protected area managed by the Department of Environment are given below.

In addition the Forests and Rangelands Organization of the Ministry of Jehad-e-Sazandegi manages 131 reserves with a total area of over 111, 000 ha. Of these, 19 are Natural Forest Parks, 91 are Forest Reserves, and 21 are Natural Parks. Furthermore, the other ministries also manage a number of protected areas.

1. 8. 1 National Parks (11 sites)

These represent some of the most outstanding examples of nation’s geological, ecological, historical, archaeological and scenic features. Management includes minimum manipulations necessary for ecological conservation. National Parks and National Nature Monuments serve dual functions of conservation and ecotourism, and are typically selected as outstanding examples of biodiversity/ecology, and geological/scenic resources that are of national and global importance. In recognition of their dual function, some park infrastructure is constructed, but under strict conservation and architectural control. The total area is 1. 3 million hectares covering 0. 79% of the national land surface.

From both ecological and economic perspectives, the most important national parks are Golestan and Uroomiyeh. Both enjoy a wider range of ecosystems than the other parks of Iran, and have potential for increased tourism. Golestan is located in the northeast of Iran along the Caspian, and is characterized by temperate to humid deciduous and hardwood forests, while Uroomiyeh, one of the largest deep saline lakes in the world, is located in the province of Western Azarbaijan.

1. 8. 2 Wildlife Refuges (25 Sites)

There are 25 wildlife refuges, which currently cover about 1. 9 million hectares, 1. 16% of the national land area. These habitats are protected for their native wildlife. Hunting, fishing and capturing of wildlife are prohibited. These areas contain public-use areas in which farming and grazing are permitted.

1. 8. 3 Protected Areas (47 sites)

Protected areas support representative ecosystems with nationally significant wildlife, but do not justify the intensity of management of a fully-fledged national park. These are areas with single or multiple use objectives, with a total area of 5. 3 million hectares, 3. 23% of the national land area. They may cater for ecological, scientific, economical, educational, cultural and recreational interests. Human settlements are often present, and it is proposed to establish integrated management plans governing the present human settlement, grazing and agriculture.

Five rivers, namely Chalus (Caspian watershed), Karaj, Lar, Sardab and Jajeroud (all in the Central watershed) are also protected by DoE.

1. 8. 4 National Nature Monuments (5 sites)

These are small areas, with unusual phenomena of scientific, geological, historical and/or natural history interest. Management includes maintaining certain species or special features.

1. 8. 5 Biosphere Reserves (9 sites)

Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystems, or a combination thereof, which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO/MAB (Man and Biosphere) program. Biosphere Reserves should preserve and generate natural and cultural values, through management that is scientifically correct, culturally creative and operationally sustainable. All Biosphere Reserves enjoy protection under one of the national protected area categories listed above. The Islamic Republic of Iran has 9 sites with 1. 9 million ha. area.

1. 9 Non-protected public land areas

Non-protected areas are under severe pressure, ranging from minimum to maximum destruction. There are demonstrable declines in the quality and quantity of habitats over vast areas caused by soil erosion, salinization and lowering water tables. Total costs of land degradation are estimated at around two billion US dollars annually. Soil erosion and the declining fertility and productivity of rangelands and arable lands, sedimentation in reservoir lakes, destructive floods (quadrupled during the last forty years), and destruction of natural habitats are the main components of the estimated losses. Major changes in land use should be undertaken in these environments. These environments, because of their huge surface area, support substantial parts of the biomass of Iran’s biodiversity.

1. 10 Ex-situ conservation

All the measures so far indicated reflect instances of in-situ (on the spot) protection. However, scientific evidence and traditional knowledge have demonstrated the value of genetic resources of wild and domesticated species as sources of biological diversity, and thus, techniques and specific advanced methods have been developed for protection of species and rehabilitation of ecosystems worldwide.

I. R. Iran has kept pace with such activities and developed comprehensive national plans, subject to periodic revision. The government has established education and research centers and has undertaken affirmative actions across the country throughout the past quarter of a century. These actions were necessary because of the rich and diverse, but fragile ecosystems of Iran. Collecting and preserving of seeds, planting and maintaining of rare plant species, developing advanced techniques of seeding, testing adaptation capacities of seeds, hybridization of plant and animal species and microbial genetic engineering are only a few of the recognized practical experiments directed in Iran towards ex-situ conservation.

These activities have been directed towards establishment of natural history museums, seed and gene banks, botanical gardens, wildlife breeding centers and animal safe habitats, herbaria and microbial collection centers. These centers have been established in conjunction with in-situ practices to support existing populations, regardless of their size. Ongoing research provides the basic knowledge required on endangered, disadvantaged and sensitive species.

Almost all such centers have been established by the governmental sector, and different organizations are charged with the well-being of various groups of organisms. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture deals with affairs related to crop and fruit plants and breeding of silkworms; the Ministry of Jehad-e-Sazandegi is responsible for maintaining forests, rangelands, poultry and livestock, fishery and honey bees; and the Department of the Environment looks after wild species of animals, birds (endangered species in particular) and non-commercial marine species.

It is quite evident that wild species do not at present receive as much attention as domesticated species, despite legislative support. Although, this may be unavoidable at present, forceful functioning and continuous monitoring and assessment by the Department of the Environment will be of critical importance for conservation of biological diversity and to proper functioning of ecosystems. The major ex-situ conservation centers of Iran are:

  • The National Museum for Natural History was founded in 1973 and is now a part of the Department of the Environment. The mission of the Museum is to become a major source of public information and a center for scientific studies and research activities. It is anticipated that such a modern museum will stimulate advanced studies by Iranian and visiting foreign experts in all the varied disciplines of natural sciences and natural history. The construction of a new building covering more than 45, 000 m2 began on World Museums Day in 1999, with the theme of "the pleasure of discovery", as an important part of DoE’s contribution to conservation of biological diversity.
  • The National Gene Bank is affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and contains seeds of plant species (exotic or endemic); there are also specialized seed banks for rice, dates, citrus fruits, forage plants and forest vegetation.
  • The National Botanic Garden was established by the Ministry of Jehad-e-Sazandegi, and consist of a botanic garden illustrating the various biomes of Iran and the world, together with a herbarium with more than 100, 000 specimens. Smaller scale herbaria and botanic gardens have also been established by provincial research centers and universities.
  • Wildlife Breeding Centers are established by the Department of Environment specifically for threatened animal species. Examples include the station in Arasbaran for the local Red Deer Cervus elaphus, and Dasht-e-Naz in Mazandaran for Mesopotamian Fallow Deer Dama dama mesopotamica.
  • Fish Propagation Centers produce millions of fingerlings annually, for release in the Caspian and for sale to fish hatcheries. These centers contribute substantially to research on fish breeding, and on the feasibility of introducing new aquatic species to inland waters and coastal environments.
  • The Microbial and Fungal Collection Center was established by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research (formerly Ministry of Higher Education) for research, education, industrial exploitation and bio-technological investigations.
  • Zoos are usually established by metropolitan municipalities, though their function is more for public recreation than for less for research and breeding.
  • Aquaria are relatively new in Iran. They are mostly established by municipalities as recreation centers for the urban population. A large Aquarium Center is being constructed by the private sector in Kish Island as a tourist attraction center, but will also contain laboratories for research on conservation of ornamental fishes.
  • Cell and Tissue Culture Centers are newly established centers and are at the developmental stage.

1. 11 Tourism and Recreation

Iran, benefiting from different ecosystems, has good tourist potential. The climatic variations combined with natural ecosystems and landscapes create unique natural scenery. Outdoor recreation activities are popular and widespread among Iranians. In spite of the development of modern life and urbanization, many people prefer to seek fresh air and nature at the weekend. But outdoor recreation has not yet been included in management policies, and there is no comprehensive management plan on this subject. As a result, destruction of nature and natural scenery occurs in the suburbs of large cities, because of a lack of public awareness. There has been very limited public education for nature utilization and people are not familiar with the values of the biodiversity. Illegal construction of houses and villas in naturally sensitive areas has also exerted pressure on ecosystems.

Despite continuous efforts to attract tourists over the last 60 years, successive governments have not been successful. Eco-tourism is one of the developing sectors in global economy. Tourists can enjoy Iran’s rich biological diversity, including the forests and the Caspian in the north, the deserts of the central regions, mangrove forests in the south, as well as the coral reefs and exotic fish in the Persian Gulf. The income earned by ecotourism can be partially spent on preservation of ecosystems.

The issue of tourism was mentioned in the first (1989-1994) and second (1994-1999) Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plans, but in recent years, the budget allocated to tourism was not fully spent. Generally, it can be concluded that tourism has not been successful in these five-year plans. Some of the reasons for this failure are as follows:

  • The role of the private sector in this industry is not well defined.
  • Tourism is not looked upon as an industry among decision-making government bodies.
  • Lack of international advertisement.
  • Lack of well-trained human resources.

The efforts of the government are directed towards ways of promoting tourism without sacrificing cultural and environmental values.

 


PREFACE
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
ISLAMIC VISION
CURRENT STATUS
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ANNEX 1

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The second article :

     

The Caspian occupies a deep continental depression within the largest catchment basin in Europe (about 3, 100, 000km2) and is the largest inland body of water on earth. It is situated where southeastern Europe meets the Asian continent between latitudes 47o07’N and 36o33’N and longitudes 45o43’E and 54o20’E. Its waters wash the shores of five independent states namely, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkmenistan. It is approximately 1, 030km long and its width ranges from 435km to a minimum of 196km. It has no connection to the world’s oceans and its surface level is at the moment around –26. 5m below MSL. At this level, its total coastline is some 7, 000km in length, its surface area 386, 400km2 and its water volume about 78, 700km3.

The Caspian can be considered as divided into three parts, the northern, middle and southern parts. The border between the northern and middle parts runs along the edge of the North Caspian shelf (the Mangyshlak threshold), between Chechen Island (near the Terrace River mouth) and Cape Tiub-Karagan (at Fort Shevchenko). The border between the middle and southern parts runs from the Apsheron threshold connecting Zhiloi Island in the west with Cape Kuuli in the east (north of Turkmenbashi). The northern part covers about 25% of the total surface area, while the middle and southern parts cover around 37% each. However, water volumes in the northern part account for a mere 0. 5%, volumes in the middle part make up 33. 9%, while the southern part contains 65. 6% of the Caspian waters. These volumes are a reflection of the bathymetry of the Caspian. As expected, the northern part is very shallow, with average depths of less than 5m. In the middle part, the main feature is the Derbent Depression with depths of over 500m. The southern part includes the South Caspian Depression with its deepest point being 1025m below the surface.

Caspian Sea Approximately 130 large and small rivers flow into the Caspian, nearly all of which flow into the north or west coasts. The largest of these is the Volga River that drains an area of 1, 400, 000km2 into the northern part of the Caspian. Over 90% of the inflowing freshwater is supplied by the 5 largest rivers: Volga – 241km3, Kura – 13km3, Terek – 8. 5km3, Ural – 8. 1km3 and Sulak 4km3. The rest is accounted for by the Iranian rivers and the smaller streams on the western shores, since there are no permanent inflows on the eastern side.

Apart from the extensive shallows of the northern part, the other two physical features that characterize the Caspian are the Volga and the Kara Bogaz Gol gulf. The Kara-Bogaz Gol is situated on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea and bites deep into the hinterland. In its natural surroundings it can be considered to be the largest lagoon in the world, separated from the sea by send bars. Until 1980, one of the significant evaporative sinks for the Caspian Sea was outflow to Kara-Bogaz-Gol. Historical outflow for the period of 1900-1979 averaged 15 km3 per year (nearly 4 cm). At the beginning of the 20th century when sea level was much higher, the strait between the Caspian Sea and Kara-Bogaz-Gol allowed a flow of 30 km3 of water per year to the smaller basin. During subsequent years, the flow consistently decreased due to reduced fluvial inflow and sea-level fall. In an attempt to retard any further drop in sea level, a solid dam was constructed across the strait in March of 1980. This dam effectively isolated Kara-Bogaz-Gol from the Caspian basin, thus preventing further outflow of water to the bay. This closure caused more than 40 km3 of water to be retained by the Caspian Sea that contributed an additional 11 cm to the rising water levels. Thus, the average yearly rate of sea-level rise increased by 2. 5-2. 7 cm because of the closure of the Gulf. In September 1984, a spillway was opened in the dam to permit some discharge of water to the Gulf; in June, 1992, the dam reportedly was completely removed. This episode reflects the difficulty of anticipating natural variations in the hydrologic cycle and creating engineering works to counter this natural variability effectively.

The Volga Delta is situated in the Prikaspiisk lowlands covering around 10, 000km2 and the apron has a width of about 200km. A feature of the delta region are the so-called Baer knolls which are hillocks, between 3m and 20m in height, formed by the action of onshore winds on the river sediments which are discharged into the delta at a rate of 8 million tones per year. Numerous small lakes can be found between the knolls and there is a complex system of channels with many islets. The Volga-Caspian shipping canal traverses the delta and is dredged to maintain a depth of not less than 2m.

The Caspian region lies in the centre of the Palaearctic zoogeographical realm and is comprised of two major biomes – cold, continental deserts and semi-deserts in the north and east and, warmer mixed mountain and highland systems with complex zonation in the southwest and south. There is also a small area around the Volga Delta in the west, where the temperate grasslands biome is represented. Caspian living resources reflect the range of climatic conditions that prevail around its perimeter resulting in a significant degree of biological diversity. This is further enhanced by the existence of extensive wetland systems such as the deltas of the Volga, the Ural and the Kura rivers and the hypersaline Kara Bogaz Gol.

The biodiversity of the Caspian aquatic environment is derived from the long history of the existence of the sea and its isolation, allowing ample time for speciation. The number of endemic aquatic taxa, which is over 400, is very impressive. There are 115 species of fish, of which a number are anadromous and migrate from the Caspian up the rivers to spawn. The best known of these are the seven species and subspecies of sturgeon which have provided a valuable economic resource for over a century. There is also a Caspian seal, one of only two freshwater seal species that occur worldwide; the other is found in Lake Baikal.

Recently, hybridization has occurred between sturgeon from the Black Sea and those in the Caspian. This phenomenon is possible because of the connection now possible via the Don-Volga Canal. While its precise effects are currently hard to evaluate, the potential loss of diversity among the sturgeon species is a cause of serious concern.

Coastal wetlands, including temporary and permanent shallow pans, many of which are saline, attract a variety of birdlife. Birds are prolific throughout the year in and around the Caspian and their numbers swell enormously during the migration seasons when many birds patronize the extensive deltas, shallows and other wetlands. It is at these times that ecologically-motivated visitors could be guided into carefully selected vantage points and allowed to experience the beauty and the bounty of protected ecological resources. Such ecotourism, carefully planned and managed, has tremendous potential both as an income earner and as an excellent mechanism to educate and inform the interested public, whether they are local or from overseas.

Undeniably, the Caspian environment attracts great interest for a variety of people the world over. Scientists and technical specialists have been challenged by its unique nature as the largest land-locked body of water on earth; the petroleum industry has been tapping its oil and gas wealth for decades; gourmets have extolled the virtues of its caviar throughout history; and, those concerned with ecological resources have recognized its valued biological diversity and its 400 or so endemic species.

 


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       STS073-701-033 Kara-Bogaz Gol and Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan September 1995 An arm of the Caspian Sea (dark blue body of water) and a natural evaporation basin, the lighter blue, water-filled Kara-Bogaz Gol can be seen in this northwest-looking, low-oblique photograph. Because water levels in the Caspian Sea are higher than those in the basin, water flows into the evaporation basin through a dike built in 1979 across the narrow strip of land separating the two bodies of water, and salts are deposited along the basin’s shoreline. The elevations of both bodies of water are below sea level, but normally the Caspian Sea is about 10 feet (3 meters) higher than Kara-Bogaz Gol; in the 1980s, however, the water level of the Caspian Sea was approximately the same or slightly lower than that of Kara-Bogaz Gol, causing a lower water level in the basin. Visible in the photograph are a small portion of Krasnovodskiy Bay to the southwest, Kazakhskiy Bay to the northwest, and the western portion of the rugged Ust-Yurt Plateau that extends along the northeast side of Kara-Bogaz Gol. (Refer to photograph STS-51F-040-0064 taken 10 years earlier, which shows very little water in Kara-Bogaz Gol. )


 

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Middle East Water Project, part 2

This part is about South Asian Monsoon Rain System. Monsoon is from Arabic word " Mausim " meaning season. The monsoon winds are caused by the difference of heating between the land and the sea in winter and summer. In winter the land is cooler than the sea and the cooler more condensed, higher pressure air over the land, pushes toward the warmer, lower pressure air of the sea, thus the winter monsoons are generally dry winds. In summer the sea is cooler than the land and by the same mechanism the flow is reversed, thus the summer monsoon winds are generally profusely wet. The main body of summer monsoon winds of South Asia starts in the southern hemisphere when the earth is having its winter there, and the cold highe pressure air, covering vast areas comprised mostly of water,  rushes towards the warm low pressure area of the equator. In this journey it becomes deflected to the left (west) by Coriolis force ( also called Coriolis effect). The Coriolis force is not a real force in true meaning, and is caused by the earth's rotation around its own axis from west to east, this matter can also be looked up in encylopedia britannica cd 2000 under the heading of atmospheric circulations, and also in plentiful individual articles on the web. On reaching the Horn of Africa this wind system becomes deflected to right (east ) by Somali Mountains, and from here on is also called the Somali Jet Stream. While crossing Arabian Sea (which is the continuation of the Sea of Oman ) it gives no rain to Iran and Arabian Peninsula, but on its south westerly course (blowing toward north east ) reaches Western India and here gives profuse amounts of rain to this region. This course is vividly shown in the small video from one of the departments of Climate Prediction Center, Camp Spring, USA, and also on the computer diagram from NASA, USA ( both enclosed). The summer monsoon months are from May to September, and then the Winter Monsoon in revese direction begins ( becomes north easterly, or blowing toward south west ). Up to this point I have no problem with either the video or the computer diagram but it is over the Bay of Bengal ( the body of water on eastern  side of India) that the Somali Jet Stream can not possibly be continuing on the same course shown, as I shall explain, and I have an article from Colorado State University to back me up,  and I have already informed NASA about this. My reason is this: THE NORTH EASTERN INDIA NOT ONLY HAS THE HIGHEST ANNUAL RAINFALL IN INDIA BUT THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD ( or second highest some years ), and for Somali Jet Stream to continue its previous course over the Bay of Bengal, it would be taking the rain to Indochina instead of India. Another point to mention is that this wind, after hitting the Western Ghat mountains on west of India, and then crossing the whole width of India and again hitting at least two of the three  mountain ranges of Satpura and Vindhya and Eastern Ghat mountains, would be all but depleted of moisture. These are not very high mountains, with peaks of about 1300 and 1500 meters for Satpura and Eastern Ghat respectively and only 915 meters for Vindhya, nevertheless they can squeeze a lot of water out of the cloud crossing that long distance, and certainly not leaving enough  to cause the heaviest or second heaviest rainfall in the world. We also should keep in mind that the Somali Jet Stream itself is a low level wind, with its main body only about 1000 meters up. Then the only possible way would be that the rain of North Eastern India should come through the Bay of Bengal ( regardless of where it has originated from ), and for that to happen, a major part of that wind sytem has to change course and become southerly ( blowing toward the north ) over the Bay of Bengal. This change of direction could have a vital significance for Middle East, because if the same can be made to happen over the Arabian Sea also (as we shall see in the third part), then the band of monsoon winds would widen to cover Middle East as well as India. I also should mention that this change of direction would not be at the expense of India's rainfall because the relative vacuum created by it would induce further currents from the sea. The reason for the change of direction over the Bay of Bengal is probably the low pressure track created by storms as shown on the map of India which is also enclosed (figure 3, climate, britannica cd 2000).
The storms or hurricanes are low pressure air systems twisting around themselves counter clock wise in northern hemisphere (the direction is reversed in southern hemisphere). This twisting is caused  by the combination of  two effects simultaneously i. e, the air rushing toward the lower pressure area of the center of the storm, while the earth is rotating west to east (Coriolis effect again). The storms in their paths also produce a depression (meaning low pressure) track. Air much like water flows from higher to lower pressure and  this can affect the other winds' directions also. The storms being made up of warmer, lighter and lower pressure air, also ascend slowly as they go and this is how they end.
I have written  to Climate Prediction Center that judging by the fact that even in that figure 3 of britannica cd 2000, the same general pattern of the monsoon stream over the Bay of Bengal is maintained, all the data are probably produced by the same center, and this should be looked up and possibly corrected, but I did not receive any answer, and even my email sent and resent directly to NASA was blocked.
The reason for the mountains taking the humidity out of the clouds in the form of rain is that  the wind reaching a mountain slope is forced to ascend  in order to overcome it and in so doing cools off and its water holding capacity decreases (or its saturation degree with water vapor increases, inversely related to its temperature).
Now why the air near the ground is warmer than the air higher up? For two reasons: a- The sun rays travelling through the layers of air meet much less resistance and friction than when hitting the ground which is lot denser than the air. The heat thus produced by hitting the land, warms up the land and the air nearer to it. This temperature difference is about 6-7 degrees centigrade for each 1000 meters up. b- The air higher up has less density and so has less weight per unit of volume, and hence there is less weight of air lying over a unit of area ( usually one square centimeter in calculations) than farther down below. Actually at only about 5'000 meters altitude the air pressure is about half of that of the open seas' level , which is equal to one bar = 1000 millibar ( m b ) = weight of a column of mercury 76 cm high = about one kilogram per square centimeter. In another word, in that spot up, half of the weight of the column of air is over us and the other half is below us. This lower pressure causes the air reaching there from below to expand, and in so doing,  cool off, in the order of about 5 degrees centigrade for air saturated with water vapor, to 10 degrees for dry air,  for each 1000 meters up. So the cloud not being able to hold as much water vapor, releases it in the form of rain.
In succeeding pages I am enclosing: a-Figure 3 from Climate, Britannica cd 2000, as mentioned above.  b- An article from NASA itself which re-enforces what I have said above about the rain fall of North East India. c-The small video about South Asian Monsoons, belonging to one of the departments of Climate Prediction Center, USA. d-The computer diagram from NASA, USA, about South Asian Monsoons. Here the area over the Bay of Bengal is mostly cloudy and the matter is not as clear as  in the video.  e-The part and the web address of the article from Colorado State University stating that the monsoon winds over the Bay of Bengal have a southerly direction.  

Middle East Water Project Part 2 documentations, 2a

 

Figure 3 from climate, britannica cd 2000, with the secondary storm
track over the bay of Bengal.

Middle East Water Project part 2 Documentations, 2b

 

The article from NASA, USA about Asian Monsoons, corroborating that the northern part of Bay of Bengal has about the heaviest rain fall in the world.
 

Note: Since these writings, the video and the computer diagram (and the animation too) have been removed from their sites by NASA,

 and the monsoon winds' direction over the Bay of Bengal has been corrected. For further information please see 'to britannica' in Preface.

 

The Asian Monsoon from the GEOS-1 Multiyear Assimilation


The Asian monsoon system, often characterized by heavy rains, provides abundant water resources to most of the Asian countries during the summer. The Asian summer monsoon, largely divided into the Indian monsoon and the East Asian monsoon, has been studied for decades by researchers around the world. However, our understanding of the monsoon has been hampered by the limited physical and dynamical information over the vast regions around the high mountains in Asia. The GEOS Multiyear Assimilation provides useful information for understanding the monsoon circulation and the global hydrologic cycle. The following animation, created by averaging the daily data from the GEOS assimilation for five years (1985-1989), illustrates the seasonal evolution of the Asian monsoon system.

 



This is a still image from the animation showing the average rainfall and winds on July 12 over the 5 year period from 1985 to 1989.

2D Monsoon Animation (Quicktime using JPEG compression - 2. 8MB)

 


The monsoon starts over Southeast Asia early in March and April. Heavy monsoon rainfall is also found over South China before a monsoon sets up over the Indian monsoon region. In the middle of May, cross-equatorial winds become pronounced in association with heavy convective rainfall in the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. The enire Indian monsoon region experiences the most rapid transition of circulations in May.

Strong low-level winds, the so-called Somali Jet, are continuously intensified throughout June, while progressing northward steadily. The heavy rainfall near the west coast of the Indian subcontinent is associated with high mountain terrain and abundant moisture supply transported by the Somali Jet. The northern part of the Bay of Bengal is known to have about the heaviest rainfall in the world during the summer monsoon period. The low-level cyclonic circulation east of the mountains may provide a favorable condition for the development of tropical depressions, where the westward propagating disturbances from the western Pacific are often intensified. The source of moisture for the heavy rains is not clear yet. However, the moisture evaporated from the Arabian Sea and the South Indian Ocean appears to be an important source.

In June, the monsoon rainbands continuously march northward over the East Asian region as well. While the total precipitation amount is not comparable to the tropical rainfall, the concentrated rainfall during the monsoon period, usually no longer than two weeks, is crucial for the agriculture over that region. The East Asian monsoon has different names as it progress northward; Mai-Yu in China, Baiu in Japan, and Changma in Korea. The failure of the monsoon often results in devastating drought over these countries.

 


3D Animation of Indian Monsoon:


How much rain?

These are yearly precipitation estimates for some selected cities extracted from the GEOS-1 Multiyear Assimilation. Calcutta and NW Burma are in the heart of the Indian monsoon region.

 

Middle East Water Project Part 2 Documentations, 2c

The small video About south Asian Monsoons from one of the depatments of Climate Prediction Center, USA.    India is in the middle, on right of India is Bay of Bengal , and further right is Indochina. On left side of India is Arabian Sea , and further left and north ( not shown here ) would be Iran and Arabian Peninsula. As stated in the text , here there is a mistake about the direction of monsoon winds over the Bay of Bengal, as is on 2a and 2b and 2d.  

 

The Asian Monsoons

 

The term monsoon is derived from an Arabic word meaning 'season', and was originally used to describe the winds of the Arabian Sea which blow for about 6 months from the northeast and 6 months from the southwest. It is now used to describe other markedly seasonal winds. The principal driving mechanism of a monsoon is the differential heating of large land and sea areas which varies seasonally.

Middle East Water Project Part 2 Documentations, 2d

The computer diagram from NASA, USA about South Asian Monsoons. Here the origin of monsoon winds in southern hemisphere, and the Horn of Africa , and Arabian Peninsula and Iran  and India ,  and Indochina , and their mountain ranges are shown.
 

Indian Monsoon, June 1988

From the GEOS-1 Multiyear Assimilation (Reanalysis)

The Figure shows a 3-D perspective of flow during the Indian Monsoon in June 1988. The fields are from the GEOS-1 data assimilation system. The view is from the South Indian Ocean looking north. The Indian subcontinent is in the center and Maylasia is to the right and Africa to the left. High topography is in brown and lower elevations are green. The arrows show near-surface winds. The strong winds blowing from Africa, south of Arabia and onto the western shore of Indian represent the Somali jet. This wind current brings moist sea air into the subcontinent. The yellow and blue ribbons are two air parcel trajectories. They show that air of maritime origin from the eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific, as well as air descending over Arabia converge in the Somali jet. The white shows energy released as the air ascends and gives up its moisture to precipitation. The trajectories show a small event as they cross the Ghats Mountains on the west Indian coast. Later along the trajectory, over eastern India and Bangladesh, the trajectories are nearly vertical and move together to the top of the troposphere. The air then moves westward in the upper troposphere.

This picture was made with output from the GEOS-1 data assimilation system. GEOS-1 uses a general circulation model to produce a data constrained "movie" of the atmosphere. The data assimilation system uses the limited input data, dominated by temperature measurements, to generate less-observed or unobserved quantities such as ocean surface winds and energy release in clouds. Results from GEOS-1 show that interannual variability can be captured. In this case, comparisons of the 1987 and 1988 Indian monsoon show a clear link to the El Nino cycle.

Middle East Water Project Part 2 Documentations, 2e

Here is the whole part 3 of the article "  Why Is It So Dry In the Middle East ? " from Colorado State University. It is an article in 8 sections. Here it states that the winds over the Bay of Bengal are southerly, and impinge on Himalaya Mountains causing maximum precipitation at east 90 degree longititude , which is a little east of Calcutta.

Precipitation Along the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

 

In the tropics and subtropics (between about 30° North and 30° South) there is a distinct tendency for the eastern sides of continents to be wet and the western sides to be dry. This can be clearly seen in the graphs at the right and also in the global map. There are several reasons for this. Among them:
  • The primary source of water vapor which eventually falls as rain is evaporation from the warm tropical and subtropical oceans.
  • In the tropics and subtropics, the wind usually blows from the east (the Trade Winds), which means that moist ocean air impinges on the east side of continents. (Note)
  • On the east side of the continent, heating by the land or flow over elevated terrain causes the air to rise, forming clouds and precipitation.
  • Air flowing over the west side of continents and over the adjoining eastern oceans comes from the east side of the continent; it has been depleted of much of its water vapor and therefore of its precipitation potential. This process is evident even for islands such as Taiwan and Madagascar.

There are interesting variations on this basic mechanism caused by atmospheric circulation. One example of this is the precipitation maximum at 90° East. Here southerly winds from the Bay of Bengal impinge on the Himalayas, causing heavy rain.

Asia, Africa, and Europe form the world's largest land mass. Because the Sahara and Middle East are in the subtropics on the western side of this supercontinent, they are exceedingly dry.

Now, what about clouds and water vapor? Are they consistent with the precipitation? Click Next Page to find out.


Annual precipitation along the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The global mean annual precipitation (943 mm) is shown as a dashed line.



 

For comparison: mean annual precipitation (mm).

 

Middle East Water Project, part 3, a hypothesis about Middle East climate

I believe what is happening over Middle East every summer is similar to WHAT IS ALREADY KNOWN TO HAPPEN OVER TIBET, and I have an explanation as to why it does happen in both places. As is already  known, there, in Tibet, the heating of the land by sun evey summer, and only within a few days of summer monsoon time, causes a high pressure air pocket or a ridge, to rise up over that area, and at the same time the Westerly Jet Stream there changes direction all the way 180 degrees to become Easterly. I have not seen any explanation as to why this happens but I believe the following mechanism is involved:
a-The timing relation of this event to monsoons is only a matter of SEASONAL COINCIDENCE.
b-The creation of the Ridge is caused by the air heating up, and although losing pressure while expanding, after rising up higher, gets stuck under the very thick and wide band of high pressure air lying over this latitude, called the THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE. The air stuck under this ridge then acts as an enclosed air cell, and being hot or at least warm, will create a back pressure which is lot more, and will extend lot further down than if it were just cold air, and this is what causes the westerly jet stream to change direction. The corroboration of this idea is that:
Also it is known that there are dry winds blowing south over Arabia at low levels, and joining the summer monsoon winds called Somali Jet Stream, as shown on NASA computer diagram which is enclosed. This can be explained by the fact that air being warmer in Arabia than in Tibet,  the high pressure cell thus created will extend farther down than that over Tibet, and although the land in Arabia is about 2000 meters less elevated than in Tibet, it still will be able to block that underpass to any part of the Somali Stream wanting to get through (such as does over the Bay of Bengal).
NOW ABOUT WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS: I believe a PROJECT OF MASS TREE PLANTING could cool the air below and prevent all that hot air from rising up, and clear that UNDER PASS, and then the depression and the negative gradient pressure created here, could act as a force to change the direction of the summer monsoon winds, as it is already happening over India. Of course as I have stated before this should not cause India to lose any of its present rain fall because the relative vacuum created by that change of direction would induce further currents from the sea, and in this way the BAND OF SUMMER MONSOON WINDS would WIDEN to cover Middle East as well as India. I have a rough estimate that a 100 million hectars of tree planting, which is about %10 of the total area of North African Sahara and Middle East deserts combined (as one unit) should be enough to make the process SELF PERPETUATING, and turn those jungles in to natural ones, or create its own natural jungles. This idea of 10% is only a hunch and came to me after I noted that the present droughts in Iran started after the area of its natural jungles decreased to below 10% of the total area of the country. Considering the number of governments involved, and the help of the possible mechanized planting, and a computerized irrigation system, and the fact that large reservoir type of dams could help provide the extra needed water for the first few weeks of the plants, this idea should not seem out of reach.
Another effect of this project would be the gradual transformation of North African Sahara through the effect of easterly Trade Winds (also produced by the Coriolis effect), carrying some of that humidiy to that region, and making the revival of the climate of this part of the world to its lush green state of only 5-6000 years ago a reality again.
 
 
 
 
          The Computer Diagram From NASA, U. S. A. :



 

some interesting articles

Here are some interesting articles related to the subject: The first article is about the climate of Middle East in 5000 years ago, and  without giving any reason as to why it changed. The second one also states that up to 5000 years ago a river, apparently bigger than today's Nile, was flowing in Arabia , and it states that the change in earth's axis tilt caused the change of climate, but as is seen in the other articles this is not convincing every one. The third one is a short article about the changes in earth's axis and orbit, and states that these changes by themselves are not enough to explain the observed climate changes. The fourth one is about North African Sahara, which had been a lush green area before, and again states that the changes in earth's axis are not sufficient to account for the changes in climate. It also explains how planting trees could bring in rain and how this process could re-enforce itself and become self perpetuating (as does the fifth one), and there are many articles about this subject on the web, of which some are included in the references. The article also mentions the possibilty of reviving that past climate by man, although it passes it rather quickly. The fifth article which is more about the Australian deserts also stresses the same point, and puts the blame of turning Australia's past jungles in to deserts on human activities. This artice also states that cutting trees could even turn Amazon Jungles in to savanas or even deserts.
 
 

Article: #1    #2    #3    #4    #5

<References List>

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