Analysis of Anthropogenic and Climate Change Effects on Mesopotamian Marshland- Iraq

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Physical Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Duhok, Duhok, Iraq


Among the world's most essential natural environmental resources are wetlands. In Iraq, the Mesopotamia marshes are considered as among the most significant swamplands worldwide. They are situated in the massive flood plains of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates in the lower basin of Mesopotamia. In this paper, there will be a thoughtful study of the effect of climate and microclimate change on these Marshes. The main sources of data and scientific knowledge will be gathered and summarized from almost all previous research conducted in the area. Most of the papers involved in this summarized study are those related to remote sensing, since remote sensing tends to be the most effective approach as it is less costly and consumes less time. Most of the reviewed papers that have studied the marshland circumstances of the area showed a deterioration in the level of the area's water bodies due to climate change. However, there are other factors that influence and degrade these marshlands other than the effects of climate change. These extra factors are represented by the political and military actions conducted by the previous Iraq regime during the middle of the 1980s.  According to most of the most research implemented in the area, the water system in Iraq is experiencing significant challenges, thus increasing concerns about the Mesopotamian marshes that have been sustaining the region for thousands of years and which may possibly vanish soon.


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