According to the American Geophysical Union, the recent drought that began in 1998 in the Eastern Mediterranean Levant region is likely the worst drought of the past 900 years.
Scientists reconstructed the Mediterranean’s drought history by studying tree rings as part of an effort to understand the region’s
climate and what shifts water to or from the area.
Between the years 1100 and 2012, the team found droughts in the tree-ring record that corresponded to those described in historical documents written at the time. According to Cook, the range of how extreme wet or dry periods were is quite broad, but the recent drought in the Levant region, from 1998 to 2012, stands out as about 50 percent drier than the driest period in the past 500 years, and 10 to 20 percent drier than the worst drought of the past 900 years.