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The Dust Bowl
Transcript of The Dust Bowl
In Oklahoma the population dropped by 40% with 1,642 small farmers and their families pulling up stakes. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the plains states. 200,000 of those people moved to California.
Old plows would take in the soil from 6 to 12 inches deep and put it on top, essentially turning it over. Now, we use the disc and chisel plow, which causes the soil to be loosened instead of turned over. This causes a reduction in the amount of top soil that can blown away.
"What caused the Dust Bowl was the hundreds of storms on the plains in the 1930's where clouds of dust would turn the light of day into darkness. This destroyed farms and ruined families."
As north as the Dakotas and as south as Texas.
Plains states through Texas and Oklahoma (main damage occurred).
More than one millions of acres of land were affected during the Dust Bowl of 1930s. Thousands of farmers lost their properties well as their livelihoods. Many of the farmers migrated to the countries looking for work and a fresh start. In some cases, three and four generations of family members moved across the country together looking for food, shelter and work. But with 25% unemployment at some points during the Great Depression the chances of finding work are slim.
Since there was a lack of rain and bad farming practices, millions of acres of topsoil were blown away during the dust storms, where black clouds of dirt were visible.
Other things like reduction of acreage that is farmed, wind rows where the wind is blocked between fields, causing dust to stay in it's field rather than building up across several acres of land, and tree rows make the Dust Bowl unlikely to ever occur again.
If there is less rain, that would mean less growth of the southwest. Most people went out west to find food, shelter and work (in fields). With no land to farm, 2 million were unemployed and homeless. More were hobos, who rode illegally on trains thousands of miles in search of a better life. If the crops began to die, more fields would be ruined. If the farmer started over, more dust would be brought up into the air. Without fertile fields to farm, many would die. This is because a lack of food that would be fatal to some families who depend on it. Several people caught diseases (dust pneumonia) which killed several people as well.
Other facts: For over 60 years, farmers took away almost all vegetation from the Great Plains, and didn't use any soil erosion practices that could have kept the dust in place. As a result, nearly 1/3 of the Great Plains got blown away in dust storms.
Less rainfall and a higher temperature kept the Great Plains dry, turning it into a near desert. Winds could then blow freely, which caused both crops, people and livestock to die.
Sunday, April 14, 1935 was the worst dust storm in history ("Black Sunday"). It lasted for at least four hours. Before the storm, it seemed like a beautiful day, but then a black cloud arose, with winds up to 70 miles per hour, which suffocated cattle and putting tons and tons of dust and topsoil on every place it could. Kansas and Oklahoma got the worst of this storm.
: Dust built up in people's
lungs, causing them to cough uncontrollably
to try and get it out. Thousands died from this. It was greater to get it if you already had some kind of respiratory disease.
: The winds at such high speeds bringing dust would often suffocate any person who was standing outside. Also, deposits of dust would be built up in front of doors and windows of people's houses and buildings, and was often very difficult to remove it, causing people to be trapped for days.
: People in dust storms were sometimes blinded by the wind and dust. They wandered off road and some died.
"Drought and soil erosion were the two main culprits in the Dust Bowl. In 1930, after a lush decade of rain, a long drought struck the plains. Rainfall was maybe 10 inches per year for the decade."
The Dust Bowl occurred in 1930's particularly the 1934 and 1936.
"The changes in tropical sea surface temperature changed creating a drought. Poor land practices led to exposure of bare soil followed by wind erosion and dust storms. Dust storms made the drought worse and moved it northward hat increased wind erosion."
"Even without the human role, the drought would have still occurred."
The warm weather of the early 1930s coupled with the lack of rain fall eliminated many of the natural conditions that killed young rabbits. In 1935 their were estimated 8,000,000 rabbits in 30 western Kansas countries. Rabbits were eating the few crops that survived the drought.
During the Dust Bowl, some 200,000 migrates moved to California, most destitute and jobless. The former farmers and their families presence simply added to cities unemployment problems.
What would be the consequences
What was the Dust Bowl and can it happen again?
What would be the consequences if the Dust Bowl did happen again?
Climate: it is one of the most crucial
abiotic factors that shape the ecosystem and includes rainfall, temperature, wind flow, ground moisture etc.
Parental material and soil: the parental material refers to the bedrock on which the soil has been formed.
Topography: it is the variety of landscapes present and it is determined by slopes, elevation, and aspects.
More Abiotic Factors
Natural disturbances: natural disturbances
after the grasslands in many ways, affect
their species diversity, distribution, community
formations, succession etc. Floods during
heavy rains, scorched conditions in high summers or ice formations in winter all contribute to the grassland ecosystem.
Food Availability and Competition
From Other Organisms;
Rabbits were eating the farmers crops that he had left behind when he moved to create a new start for his family. Many crops died during the droughts, and this limited the food available. If Rabbits eat the crops, then humans have less food to eat. So, if the farmers stop them from eating their crops, then the rabbits die. This means organisms like hawks will die because they will not have anything to eat either.
Quantity of Light
The dust ruled in without warning, blotting out the sun and casting the entire towns into darkness. Their was dust everywhere; in food, water, and lungs of people and animals. People tried to protect themselves by hanging wet sheets in front of doorways and windows to filter the dirt.
In the summer of 1931, rain disappeared. Crops had died because of the drought and strong dust storms and winds on the plains. Over plowing caused this problem to be worse.
Aquatic Food Web
Land Food Web
Land Energy Pyramid
Aquatic Energy Pyramid
What If Drought (Loss of Water) Were to Happen Now?
By 1937, the soil conservation campaign wain full swing. By the next year the soil loss had been reduced by 65%. Though the new techniques were taking root and the situation had improved, the drought dragged on.
With drought comes little rain. Rain affects everyday life, helps people and
animals live, and helps organisms carry out life processes. High temperatures and little precipitation cause water to become less, until there is almost none left. Crops will die, and animals won't have any water to drink.
People will have to pay more for crops because most of the crops will die and so there will be less. If there is less, prices go up.
Modernly, if a hydroelectric power industries would have to close because there's less water, then we will have less natural energy sources, which in turn would cause us to use more resources to get energy needs, such as coal or oil. These resources are not renewable, and they are harmful to the environment (Gases going into the atmosphere, air pollution).
Canals, rivers and large streams would be harder to navigate due to lower levels of the water. Without these, shipping of goods would be harder to travel and get where they need to go.
Will it happen again?
How did this cause Air Pollution?
Air pollution was greatly increased after the Dust Bowl. "This is primarily due to the increased number of storms originating from areas of desertification. The dust in these storms has been shown to contain pollutants and toxins, such as salt, sulfur, heavy metals, pesticides and carbon monoxide to name a few. The pollution-laden dust can be carried over hundreds of miles, affecting millions of people who might not necessarily suffer from the acute events of the storm."
Organisms like the prairie dog, snakes, bison, rabbits, different kinds of birds, coyotes, hawks, wheat, grains, grass, insects, mice and several other organisms were affected greatly by these dust storms.
Competition Between Populations
During the droughts there were less food and water available. Plants or crops had to compete for sunlight and water. The dust blocked the sunlight so this also caused many crops to die. Animals like rabbits and hawks have to compete for food. A rabbit has to compete with other organisms for crops to eat because they were limited. The hawk and a fox had to compete for food like a rabbit to eat. Many rabbits died because of the limited food and water available. Also, dust or dirt could of gone into their lungs and killed them too. If the rabbits die, then the fox and hawks have to find another food source or end up dying.
Deserts Were Created
Effects of the Change of Numbers to an Organism In a Population
If there were less crops, then first level consumers would die, such as rabbits and a prairie dog. If there was a limited number of rabbits then hawks and foxes will have to find another food source or they could die. If their was a less number of organisms in a ecosystem, then other animals and organisms will be affected.
How can we avoid it?
The government began to offer relief to farmers through President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Roosevelt believed it was the federal government's duty to help the American people get through the bad times like the Dust Bowl. During the first three months of his presidency, a steady stream of bills were passed to relieve poverty, reduce unemployment and speed economic recovery. While these experimental programs did not end the Depression, the New Deal helped the American people immeasurably by taking care of their basic needs and giving them the dignity of work, and hope during trying times.
Trying To Rebuild the Mid West
Impact On Organisms Ecosystem
What Was the Worst Storm in the 1930s?
A forest fire will destroy all the trees or most of the trees in the ecosystem causing organisms to loss their homes and food. These organisms will have to move and find shelter somewhere else.
Floods benefit plants on dry areas because they don't get large amounts of water. The plants will also get water and nutrients carried by the flood.
Floods are also harmful in water based ecosystems to coral reefs. The flood waters or runoff will carry pesticides and fertilizer, this will destroy habitats, and animal and plant life.
Benefits of The Dust Bowl?
Although it was a terrible time, the Dust Bowl
also taught us many things. They made us rethink the way that we farmed. Yes this was a difficult time that affected everyone in the Midwest to excessive measures, but farming practices like tree rows and using plows that only go a few inches deep into the ground. If the Dust Bowl hadn't happened, we wouldn't have as much knowledge as we do now about farming practices that are harmful to the environment. If it had not happened, future droughts could have built up over time, causing a Dust Bowl that could've been monumentally greater, and could've almost permanently damaged the farming land, making it almost impossible to rebuild and re establish the land. Then we would've not been able to grow at all. There were several droughts in the 1950s and 1970s that might have created a second Dust Bowl. New, more environmentally safe practices prevented these to happen.
Animals and plants are affected by volcanic eruptions, volcanic soil is very rich, so once everything cools down, the plants grow back fast. Aquatic life is affected by the change of temperature, this can kill fish and change the food supply. Animals can die from the lava flow or forest fires caused by the lava.
Migration Tracks of People Leaving the Dust Bowl Areas
Relocation of Animals
An avalanche is good because it will clear forest. This will leave an open area so that people going up the mountain will make it easier for animals and people. The avalanche also when it melts, gives fresh clean water to rivers and streams. Logs serve as shelter for fish and they can breed and lay their eggs.
An avalanche is also dangerous to humans when we are skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. Humans or animals can get buried by tons of snow, taping them. If no one is around to help you, then this could lead to death.
When animals realized that their resources in their current ecosystem were threatened, they moved out to find better lives and food. When they moved, they had to compete for food, water and shelter. This also took away from the humans. Over population started to take place when animals would crowd into areas where there wasn't ruined soil. This quickly became a problem. One example is rabbits
In Kansas 1935, there was an estimated
8,000,000 jack rabbits.
Dust piled up onto
Farm machinery in Oklahoma is buried under piles of sand during the Dust Bowl.
By 1940, more than 2.5 million people had fled the Great Plains. Nearly 10 percent would head west to California.