Borders. – In the Iraqi state, the delimitation allowed by the borders isolates, as a whole, a region that presents, compared to the finitime, its own individuality: the particular issues which, within these borders, have disturbed and disturb the existence of young nation do not prevent that, in their general lines, the terms marked by nature impose themselves almost everywhere with evidence. If at S. Iraq is closed by the Persian Gulf, towards the Neǵd, Transjordan and Syria it is protected by a wide belt of desert, while the long and winding eastern border corresponds to the morphological limit between the Mesopotamian lowland and the corrugated arches of Zagros, that is the contact between two territories in which the characteristics of the environment create man different living conditions and in some respects (climate) opposite. From this side, in fact, the border looks at the high limestone back of the Kebīr Kūh, from which the Iraq is divided by a large strip of sandstone and gypsum conglomerates: the border runs on these slightly depressed hills before they come down to the flat level of the Mesopotamian territories. The border towards N., in the Mossul region, is weaker, where the passage between Iraq and Kurdistān takes place through an ethnographic mosaic, a clear indication, alone, of the lack of natural barriers, and therefore a delicate point of friction in the negotiations that they preceded and followed, between England and Turkey, the rise of the new kingdom. The Iraq corresponds to a depressed area, defined at N. and E. by masses in relief, a’O. from the Arabian desert, and to S.
Climate and hydrography. – That irrigation is a decisive factor in the life of this region is clear from the history itself, recent or very ancient, of the peoples who inhabited it, and is, no less than elsewhere, an immediate consequence of the prevailing climate in the plains, that is, in the part without major comparison of the region itself. For Iraq 2018, please check ethnicityology.com.
The most evident character of this climate, common also to the marginal mountain ranges, is the extreme continentality. The average annual temperature of Baghdād – which is about forty meters above sea level – is 21 ° 5; but, while in August it fluctuates between 33 ° and 35 °, with absolute maximums of 50 ° which are anything but rare, in January it drops to 9 °, with minimums reaching – 12 °. These conditions change very little in the rest of the country, except in the mountainous bands of N. and E., where the altitude tempers the excesses of the summer season and the greater rainfall, concentrated in the winter months, recalls the Mediterranean climate. On the other hand, the influences of the nearby Arabian and Syriac deserts cross the limit of the two major rivers and reach the interior of the lower delta area, where the moderating action of the air currents coming from the Persian Gulf can be considered null. The higher relative humidity of the air, on the contrary, makes the summer heats, especially the night, less tolerable here: one seeks in vain for some relief from the oppressive heat, when the SE winds blow. The rains all fall from November to April, with a maximum in February, but do not exceed 300 mm in Mesopotamia proper. annui (225 in Baghdād) and, when the higher marginal territories are excluded, the southern limit where the cultivation of cereals without the need for artificial irrigation is possible runs entirely outside the borders of the kingdom. It is therefore easy to understand the importance that, in a territory like this, the floods not only of the two major rivers, but also of those that, during most of the year, they remain dry. While the Tigris and Euphrates make their waters feel the benefit in the spring season, as a result of the rains and snows that fall on the high lands of their catchment area, the steppe comes alive in the short winter period, when sudden storms or showers lasting a few hours. convert the indian in rushing streams and the yellow sunburnt expanse in an immense mirror of stagnant water.
Flora and fauna. – Given this, it is not surprising the extreme poverty of the Mesopotamian flora and the almost absolute lack of tree vegetation outside the humid ribbons of the rivers, canals and the lower delta area. The large animals are essentially reduced to the gazelle and the wild ass, in the steppe region, and only further south do the felines appear, including the typical maned lion of the low Mesopotamian forests.
The Iraq fauna is part of the Mesopotamian fauna complex and while on one side it extends over the Persian Gulf, on the other it is included in the area occupied by the great Palearctic desert belt that extends from the Sahara to Central Asia. Among the Mammals we will notice a particular form of Fallow Deer (Mesopotamian Dama), various species of goats, gazelles, the onager, various gnawing animals including the Spalace; many carnivores including jackal, fox, Persian badger, ichneumon, mangosteen, hyena, etc. Among the insectivores we note a hedgehog (Erinaceus auriculatus) of Mesopotamia. Various species represent the Chiroptera group. The avifauna is rich in numerous species of birds; numerous reptiles, amphibians and fishes which, together with various species of invertebrates, populate the fresh waters of the region. The world of invertebrates is very rich in insects, arachnids, myriapods and terrestrial molluscs.