The Middle East

The Arabian desert

It appears the Arabian desert was once green. This image indicates two rivers and two huge lakes.

Saudi Rivers

Figure 1: Ancient Arabian Desert rivers and lakes (image credit,Craig Dremann

River 1 was 650 miles long and studied by Farouk El-Baz of Boston University. Remnants of the river remain.

River 2 is located in the Rub’ al Khali region and connected to a giant lake.

The presence of these river systems may have been caused by shifts in the Earth’s axis leading to changes in weather systems. Human activity may well have accelerated the return to desert.

Here are efforts to regenerate the desert into agricultural land.

The Sinai Peninsula

This image of the Sinai Peninsula reveals an ancient river network.


Figure 2: Sinai peninsula from space (image credit Kosmos Journal)

In a Kosmos Journal article, John Lui, renowned for his work documenting regeneration work around the globe, anticipates the regeneration of the Sinai, starting with restoring Lake Bardawil on the northern coast.

The website steps through the processes of regeneration and anticipates a reduction in the temperature.


This video feature’s Australia’s Geoff Lawton. The first part is from the 2001 original documentary followed by a 2009 update.

More than 92 % of Jordan is desert, so most of the population is squeezed on to 3% of the total area. Temperatures in autumn go over 50 degrees Celcius. In 2015 Jordan hosted 700,000 refugees from Iraq alone and many from other Middle Eastern countries.

You can fix all the world’s problems in a garden. (Geoff Lawton)

Here’s a more recent video showing progress over 10 years.

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