Recent California Drought was Bad – The Dust Bowl was Much Worse

October 21, 2014 4:41 AM

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You may have heard your grandparents or parents talk about the devastating Dust Bowl of 1934 which affected much western North America. You may have thought it affected only a few states like Oklahoma and Texas, recent studies show it extended much farther. Scientists from NASA and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory used tree-ring drought records going back 1,000 years to determine what were the worst periods. It turns out the Dust Bowl was much worse than previously believed. In fact, the study showed that it was the most catastrophic drought in North America in those 1,000 years. The Dust Bowl was 30 percent worse than the next on the list (a drought in 1580).

The drought of 1934 covered a staggering 71.6% of western North America. And the effects were amplified with the Dust Bowl event since it was one year in a decade of drought conditions. The tragic conditions were made worse by extreme temperatures, dust storms and erosion. The researchers felt that ...

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