University of Oulu

Maghrebi, M., Noori, R., Bhattarai, R., Mundher Yaseen, Z., Tang, Q., Al‐Ansari, N., et al. (2020). Iran's agriculture in the Anthropocene. Earth's Future, 8, e2020EF001547.

Iran’s agriculture in the anthropocene

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Author: Maghrebi, Mohsen1; Noori, Roohollah1; Bhattarai, Rabin2;
Organizations: 1School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
3Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam
4Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
5University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
6Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Lulea University of Technology, Lulea, Sweden
7Civil Engineering Department, Antalya Bilim University, Antalya, Turkey
8School of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
9College of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
10Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
11Council on Middle East Studies, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
12Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 10.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-01-07


The anthropogenic impacts of development and frequent droughts have limited Iran’s water availability. This has major implications for Iran’s agricultural sector which is responsible for about 90% of water consumption at the national scale. This study investigates if declining water availability impacted agriculture in Iran. Using the Mann‐Kendall and Sen’s slope estimator methods, we explored the changes in Iran’s agricultural production and area during the 1981–2013 period. Despite decreasing water availability during this period, irrigated agricultural production and area continuously increased. This unsustainable agricultural development, which would have been impossible without the overabstraction of surface and ground water resources, has major long‐term water, food, environmental, and human security implications for Iran.

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Series: Earth's future
ISSN: 2328-4277
ISSN-E: 2328-4277
ISSN-L: 2328-4277
Volume: 8
Issue: 9
Article number: e2020EF001547
DOI: 10.1029/2020EF001547
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Copyright information: © 2020. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.