Research Paper Dust Bowl

Gradually, the land was laid bare, and significant environmental damage began to occur.

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In fact, Thomas Friedman famously linked Syria’s drought with growing political instability (paywall).

In the last few years, scientists have been calling on the world to act on the US to act on “the next Dust Bowl“—droughts much worse than the one that struck the US in the 1930s is set to hit Mexico and Central America.

The lack of native prairie grasses or cover crops to keep the soil in place meant large swaths of formerly productive agricultural land turned to dust and blew away in so-called “black rollers.” While we have learned a lot about maintaining soil quality since, drought conditions today are nevertheless taking a heavy toll on agricultural productivity, fresh water supplies and the economy—especially as the effects of global warming start to kick in more seriously.

The current drought started in 2012, the hottest year on record in the U. with several weeks in a row of 100-plus degree days in various regions.

These “mega droughts” will put millions of people at risk and they will most likely do what others like themselves have done so in the last few centuries: find a new home.

Between 19, the southwestern Great Plains region of the United States suffered a severe drought.To wit, California experienced its driest January and February on record, and average winter temperatures across the continental U. were 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for last century.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that drought conditions are likely to remain in the central and western sections of the U. while expanding in California, the Southwest, the southern Rockies and Texas.Likewise, the cost of piping drinking water to our homes’ faucets is on the rise with freshwater reserves becoming a hotter and hotter commodity.And our tax dollars pay for emergency response missions in the case of wildfires and other warming-related weather disasters. In fact, this ongoing drought has caused more economic damage all told than Hurricane Sandy.While winter precipitation eased the conditions somewhat, federal researchers believe that more than half the country is still gripped by drought with no foreseeable end in sight and another hot dry summer just around the corner.The Florida panhandle is also expected to see drought conditions moving into summer.Along with crop losses, the expanding drought promises to bring more wildfires to the west as well as to parts of Minnesota and even Iowa.The result was drought conditions for two-thirds of the country.Economists estimate that the dry spell cost Americans some billion in agricultural losses—staple crops including soy, corn and wheat have all been devastated—as well as forest fire destruction and other financial casualties.

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