Tags: israel | climate | history | region

Israel's Climate and Its Affect on History: How Weather Shaped Region

Image: Israel's Climate and Its Affect on History: How Weather Shaped Region
A picture taken on February 8, 2014 near Ein Gedi, in Israel shows the Dead Sea shoreline shaped by the decline in water levels as a result of the drying up. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 10:53 AM

Israel has a diverse geography with mountains, plains, farmland, and deserts all within its 8,630 square miles, and the region’s climate matches that diversity.

“Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the hill regions, hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semidesert conditions in the Negev,” according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Israel’s coastal plain is where much of its population resides, along with its industry, agriculture, and tourism.

Recent warm winters have challenged area retailers, according to a February article in Haaretz. Sales at large malls were down 17 percent in February.

“I don’t remember a winter so not wintry since I’ve been in the business,” a senior executive at a large fashion chain told Haaretz. “Only during the weekend of the December storm did people have the motivation to buy, but since then people have hardly bought serious winter items.”

The warm winter also stung mountain tourism destinations, such as the Mount Hermon ski site.

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Weather also has had an effect on Israel’s water supplies, which have long been a topic of unrest in the state.

Rising population has put pressure on Israel’s water supply, which has dwindled with decreased rainfall in recent years, according to Israel Weather. Water levels have fallen in the region’s aquifers and the Sea of Galilee. Israel began desalination in 2000 to provide drinking water. The state has four desalination plants. Treated wastewater is used in irrigation.

Pumping stations drawing water from the Jordan River have reduced the river flow to about 2 percent of its original flow in some points, according to a 2011 article in Orion Magazine.

The diversion of water has caused clashes between Israel, Jordan, and Syria, with former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon describing the 1967 Six-Day War as the first modern water war, according to the magazine. Water continues to be a source of contention between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Israel has a diverse geography with mountains, plains, farmland, and deserts all within its 8,630 square miles, and the region's climate matches that diversity.
israel, climate, history, region
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2014-53-16
Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 10:53 AM
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