History and the Environment 8: The new Dustbowl

The Dustbowl of the 1930s wrecked havok on the Midwest.  Big clouds of dust covered the skies reducing visibilty to zero and made many acres of farmland useless.  It also displaced thousands of people as the dust storms blew all the way across to the east coast.  Cities as far east as Chicago and Washington DC were attacked by these menacing dirt clouds.  The dustbowl was caused by churning up the topsoil, overfarming and lack of crop rotation.  The reason I bring this up is that just recently on msn.com I happend to run across a recent story that showed many places in Texas being covered by new dust storms in 2011, and I wondered……….since history tends to repeat itself if these new storms were caused by the same factors as the ones in the 1930s.  After reading a few articles about the new storms, the facts are clear.  The number one factor in creating dust storms is drought.  In today’s world of climate change drought seems to continue to be a factor in making bigger dust storms for people living in areas where the top soil can be blown up into the air rather easily.  Texas has experienced some dust storms since the 1930s but most have been relatively small until recently.  In October the biggest dust storm to hit Lubbock, Texas sine the 30s hit.  It produced a massive wall over 8,000 feet in height.  See Pictures below.  If climate change continues we could very well see the new dust storms and clouds reach the proportions of the great ones of the 1930s.


About deadfryday

I dig History and its preservation
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