The impact of the dust bowl on the environment meaning of hormonal imbalance

At its worst, the Dust Bowl covered about 100 million acres in the Southern Plains, an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania. Dust storms also swept across the northern prairies of the United States and Canada, but the damage there couldn’t compare to the devastation farther south.

Some of the worst storms blanketed the nation with dust from the Great Plains. A storm in May 1934 deposited 12 million tons of dust in Chicago and dropped layers of fine brown dust on the streets and parks of New York and Washington, D.C. Even ships at sea, 300 miles off the Atlantic coast, were left coated with dust. Black Sunday

The storm carried twice as much dirt as was dug out of the earth to create the Panama Canal. The canal took seven years to dig; the storm lasted a single afternoon. More than 300,000 tons of Great Plains topsoil was airborne that day.


Disaster Gives Way to Hope

More than a quarter million people fled the Dust Bowl during the 1930s— environmental refugees who no longer had the reason or courage to stay. Three times that number remained on the land and continued to battle the dust and to search the sky for signs of rain.

In 1936, the people got their first glimmer of hope. Hugh Bennett, an agricultural expert, persuaded Congress to finance a federal program to pay farmers to use new farming techniques that would conserve topsoil and gradually restore the land. By 1937, the Soil Conservation Service had been established, and by the following year, soil loss had been reduced by 65 percent. Nevertheless, the drought continued until the autumn of 1939, when rains finally returned to the parched and damaged prairie.

The high plains never fully recovered from the Dust Bowl. The land came through the 1930s deeply scarred and forever changed, but in places, it healed. . . After more than sixty-five years, some of the land is still sterile and drifting. But in the heart of the old Dust Bowl now are three national grasslands run by the Forest Service. The land is green in the spring and burns in the summer, as it did in the past, and antelope come through and graze, wandering among replanted buffalo grass and the old footings of farmsteads long abandoned. Looking Ahead: Present and Future Dangers

In the 21st century, there are new dangers facing the Southern Plains. Agribusiness is draining the Ogallala Aquifer—the United States‘ largest source of groundwater, which stretches from South Dakota to Texas and supplies about 30 percent of the nation’s irrigation water. Agribusiness is pumping water from the aquifer eight times faster than rain and other natural forces can refill it.

Ironically, the Ogallala Aquifer is not being depleted to feed American families or to support the kind of small farmers who hung on through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl years. Instead, the agricultural subsidies that began as part of the New Deal to help farm families stay on the land are now being given to corporate farms that are growing crops to be sold overseas. In 2003, U.S. cotton growers received $3 billion in federal subsidies to grow fiber that would ultimately be shipped to China and made into cheap clothing to be sold in American stores.