´Dead Sea Drying´ – An Ancient Pattern (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Chana Ya´ar 04/16/12)
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Environmentalists are increasingly concerned about the Dead Sea
drying up – but Tel Aviv University scientists say the pattern is one
as old as time itself.
Researchers under the direction of Professor Zvi Ben-Avraham of TAU´s
Minerva Dead Sea Research Center, and Professor Mordechai stein of
the Geological Survey of Israel have found the phenomenon is not new.
The scientists drilled 460 meters beneath the sea floor and extracted
sediments spanning 200,000 years that revealed past climatic
The layers of salt showed a number of periods of dryness with sparse
rainfall, causing water to recede and salt to gather at the center of
According to the scientists, the sea has come close to drying up
entirely at least twice in the past, most recently 13,000 years ago.
This time, however, the threat is man-made, warned Ben-Avraham. “What
we see happening in the Middle East is something that mimics a severe
dry period, but this is not climate-enforced, this is a man-made
phenomenon,” he said.
Water is being taken from the sea at its southern tip by the Dead Sea
Works factory for chemical processing, and from northern rivers for
irrigation before it ever reaches the body of water.
At present, the water level of the Dead Sea rests at 426 meters below
sea level, and is dropping by at least one meter per year.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/16/12)
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