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Alternate History

No Mediterranean Sea

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Med 1000 AD

First set of earthquakes

In 108 AD in the tenth year of the Roman Emperor Trajan a series of six massive earthquakes measuring between 5.2 and 8.3 on the MMS scale occur in the area of ocean west of the Straits of Gibraltar on the Azores-Gibraltar Transform Fault. The sea bed in the surrounding area begins to rise from roughly 350 metres deep to less than 50 metres deep.

The earthquakes cause several large Tsunamis that strike the western coast of the Roman provinces of Hispania and Africa Proconsularis causing major damage and causing the deaths of many thousands.

There are reports over the next few years of patches of boiling water in the Gibraltar Strait as well as strange bad smells emanating from the area.

Second set of earthquakes

In 309 AD under the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine another four major earthquakes occur on the Azores-Gibraltar Transform Fault, sub-ocean volcanoes that had formed during the last set of earthquakes also begin to become highly active, these earthquakes and volcanic eruptions cause the Straits of Gibraltar (or the Pillars of Hercules as it was known then) to become four metres above sea level. This causes the Mediterranean Sea to be cut off from the Atlantic Ocean.

400 AD

By 400 AD it has been noticed by various peoples around the Mediterranean Sea that the level of the sea had begun to drop. It is calculated that the sea is dropping by roughly 12 inch per decade.

1000 AD

By 1000 AD the sea level on the Mediterranean Sea had dropped roughly 50 metres, the northern Adriatic Sea had dried up leaving the former port of Venice 35 miles from the sea. The Bosphorus Strait had dried up separating the Black Sea from the Mediterranean Sea, the Black sea has slowly begun to dry slower than the Mediterranean. However, due to the larger influx of fresh water from the Volga river, it has begun to become brackish.

Between the years 1200 AD and 1700 AD the rate of drying increased due to adverse climatic conditions in southern Europe.

1700 AD

In the mid 1700's AD the Mediterranean separates into an eastern and a western sea, with the Italian peninsula joining onto North Africa. It would takes another 100 years for the western sea to dry up totally to form saline flats. This is mainly due to the fact that the western sea has no major rivers flowing into it.

2000 AD

By the Year 2000 AD the sea level had dropped to 250 metres below average global sea levels. The Black Sea is now almost totally a fresh water lake roughly two-thirds the size of the former sea, only the deep water remains salty. Many of the major rivers that flow into the sea have begun to dig large canyons into their former flood plains, the Nile gorge is now 35 metres deep causing many of the fertile river flood plains to become desert and non-agricultural land. Due to the water being removed from the Mediterranean the global sea level is 10 metres above the 100 AD level.

Future

Several hydrologists have noted that the sea will reach its lowest point in 2050 AD at that point due to the rise in global sea levels the Red Sea will begin to overflow into the eastern Mediterranean Sea over the Suez Straits causing the Mediterranean to refill in roughly 50 years. Many believe that the straits should be intentionally breached causing the global sea levels to reset to its proper levels.

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