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Food & Climate
1. Plants and climate
2. The climate change issue
3. Drought in the Mediterranean
- what is drought?
- causes & types of drought
- drought and fire
* Worksheet 1
* Worksheet 2
* Worksheet 3

Food & Climate 


Drought in the Mediterranean

Drought is a severe problem in the Mediterranean due to the growth of population and the consequent increasing need of water for agriculture and living. Water is an important cultural element in this region and that makes it hard to change people’s habits in order to lower water consumption.




1. Limits of the Mediterranean basin.
Source FAO

What is exactly the Mediterranean basin?

As seen in this map the Mediterranean basin groups a number of countries further than those in the South of Europe, it is also formed by countries in the North of Africa an the ones in the East coast of the Mediterranean Sea, like Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan.

Although these countries are very different from one another in cultural and political terms, they share a similar climate with very particular characteristics, which makes them coincide in the concern about things like climate change and the impact on agriculture, which is still a very important economical sector in the area. A common solution to all of them would be to improve the use of water in this sector.

The problem nowadays is to forecast when exactly there will be a drought or flood, and this makes it hard to decide how to use water in order to be ready for what may happen.


In this satellite image you can see the Mediterranean basin and you can appreciate how the green color, very abundant in the North of Europe (that corresponds to vegetated areas), disappears turning into brown as we move down to the South of Europe and most of all in the North of Africa. This means that vegetation is denser in green areas and it gives us an idea of how water is distributed in space.

2. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)
G. Begni, MEDIAS-France

Author:  Marta Moneo and Ana Iglesias- Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - España
1. Scientific reviewer: Alex de Sherbinin - CIESIN, Columbia University - USA
2. Scientific reviewer: Lily Parshall - Goddard Institute for space studies, Columbia University - USA
Educational reviewer: Emilio Sternfeld - Colegio Virgen de Mirasierra - España
Last update: 12/05/2004



last updated 11.07.2005 10:50:22 | © ESPERE-ENC 2003 - 2013