Iran's Agriculture in the Anthropocene

Mohsen Maghrebi, Roohollah Noori, Rabin Bhattarai, Zaher Mundher Yaseen, Qiuhong Tang, Nadhir Al-Ansari, Ali Danandeh Mehr, Abdolreza Karbassi, Javad Omidvar, Hossein Farnoush, Ali Torabi Haghighi, Bjørn Kløve, Kaveh Madani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020EF001547
JournalEarth's Future
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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