lab3 - Name SID Lab 3 The Dust Bowl Introduction Wind...

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Name: SID: Lab 3: The Dust Bowl Introduction: Wind erosion is a serious problem in the United States and the world. It is responsible for about half of the more than two billion tons of soil lost from U.S. cropland annually. In the Great Plains alone, about five million acres are damaged moderately to severely by wind erosion each year. This is not a new problem. In the 1930s, drought covered virtually the entire Great Plains region for almost a decade. Although the 1930s drought is often referred to as if it were one episode, there were at least 4 distinct drought events: 1930–31, 1934, 1936, and 1939–40. These events occurred in such rapid succession that affected regions were not able to recover adequately before another drought began. Many crops were damaged by insufficient rainfall, high temperatures, and high winds, as well as insect infestations, dust storms and disease that accompanied these conditions. The resulting agricultural depression contributed to the Great Depression’s bank closures, business losses, increased unemployment and sent economic and social ripples throughout the country. Objectives: In this lab you will explore the interchange between mass movement of materials and human activities using the Dust Bowl as a setting. You will watch a documentary film on the Dust Bowl, and then examine some of the scientific investigations of the Dust Bowl including what we know, what we don't know, and what lessons can be learned. You will examine a scientific paper and gain an understanding of how to make sense of published work. Throughout this lab you will also be exposed to the interchange between earth science, nature, economics and people and the complexity of balancing these factors in the modern day. Answers: Asterisks (*) note where answers are necessary for this lab. All answers should be your own, but we encourage you to discuss and check your answers with 2-3 other students. Discussion and explanation are terrific ways to learn! Labs are graded out of 100 points, and then scaled accordingly. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Part 1 : The Science of the Dust Storm Recent research shows abnormal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean played a strong role in the 1930s Dust Bowl drought. Scientists used sea surface temperatures data acquired from old ship records to create initial conditions for the computer simulation models. They let the model run on its own, driven only by the observed monthly global sea surface temperatures. The model was able to reconstruct the Dust Bowl drought quite closely, providing strong evidence that the Great Plains dry spell originated with abnormal sea surface temperatures. The models show warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and colder than normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, followed by a low
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This note was uploaded on 09/17/2009 for the course EPS 50 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Berkeley.

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lab3 - Name SID Lab 3 The Dust Bowl Introduction Wind...

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