America’s Great 2012 Drought

As Bad as During the 1930s Dust Bowl?

The progress of the drought has been horrific:
The current drought is covering almost as much of the U.S. as during the 1930s dust bowl:

As the Weather Channel  pointed out last month,  the area covered by drought rivals some of the dust bowl years:

10 Largest Droughts Since 1895

As of June – the area covered by severe drought was still lower than during the Dust Bowl years, but still made the top 10 list:

But – despite the recent rains in some areas, which reduced by 1% the area covered by drought – the farm states remain parched, and the area covered by severe drought is still growing.

Unfortunately, the one certainty is higher food prices.

Long-Term Historical Trends

Much of the area hit during the Dust Bowl – and again today – is naturally prone to drought.  As the Weather Channel notes:

The area is known as semi-arid and is naturally prone to drought and high winds. In fact, early settlers referred to it as the “Great American Desert.”

HowStuffWorks notes:

About 90 percent of the 450 million hectares of arid land in North America suffers from moderate to severe desertification [source: Center for International Earth Science Information Network]

As Ezra Klein notes, there have been much bigger droughts in the distant past:

Scientists have looked at data from tree rings and found (pdf) that North America endured brutal “megadroughts” during the medieval period. These droughts were similar in intensity to today’s dry spells, but lasted 20 to 40 years and were possibly linked to massive La Niña ocean events:

Red square = Here there be monstrous droughts.

Fortunately, we haven’t seen anything that bad in recent times.

Postscript:   July was reportedly the warmest month recorded in the U.S. since records began in 1895.  And AP reports:

The first seven months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the nation. And August 2011 through July this year was the warmest 12-month period on record, just beating out the July 2011-June 2012 time period.

Some say this proves global warming is a dire threat, while others say that it is dishonest to claim that short-term weather proves anything.

But we can all agree on the following:

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  • gozounlimited

    Guess I have been talking to the hand ….. Good Luck!

  • Kathy C

    Unless you have experience growing food you cannot appreciate the combination of drought and very high temperatures. Many plants will make grain or vegetables if the temperatures are too high. “In a global analysis of crop yields from 1981 to 2002, there was a negative response of wheat, maize, and barley (Hordeum vulgare) yields to rising temperature,” Drought measures are for rain and some may include soil moisture. They are not for rain and heat. If they include soil moisture they may indirectly measure heat. But besides the soil moisture, heat has an effect on silking of corn, flowering of beans etc. I have read of it and the last two years in SE USA I have seen it first hand in my garden. Watering does not help when the temps are too high. The plant lives but fails to make any produce. Thus just looking at the “area covered by drought” does not address the full magnitude of the problem.

  • There is one big difference between the drought now and the 1930’s … this one is not over yet.

    And there is something the same between the two, they happened well after the industrial revolution began to change the climate.

    Tyndall in mid 1800’s noticed CO2 relevancy, Arrhenius did first degree calculations, Callendar discovered greenhouse gas increases in 1930’s, the Hulburt accord was in 1930’s, Gilbert N. Plass developed CO2 atmospheric calculations, Suess & Revelle do paper in 1957 warning of GW dangers, including polar ice cap melt, Lyndon Johnson in 1965 says fossil fuels causing GW, White of NOAA, 1978, warned of GW dangers, IPCC formed in 1979 with consensus on GW, President Bush I signed GW treaty, thereafter GOP propagandists Luntz injects GW denial propaganda into political debate, then Oil baron Cheney propagates GW denial. (video of professor’s lecture detailing history of climate science and denial).

    • EdD

      ” after the industrial revolution began to change the climate.”

      Where is the scientific evidence to support this fatuous statement?

      “Lyndon Johnson in 1965 says fossil fuels causing GW”

      Oh, wow. So LBJ told the truth for the one time during his career and it happens to support your ridiculous hypothesis? How utterly convincing.

      ” IPCC formed in 1979 with consensus on GW”

      I see. Science is determined by consensus by political activists rather than by actual repeatable scientific methods by scientitsts. That certainly simplifies the process, doesn’t it?

      “Oil baron Cheney propagates GW denial”

      Dick Cheney is an “oil baron”? Please. Cheney is a political operative, an opportunist of the worst sort, and a lying, treasonous, promoter of murderous government policy, but he’s nothing more than a well bribed stooge for those elites who could actually be characterized as oil barons, if there is indeed such a thing.

      Go back to your employers and get them to give you some actual facts for you to use in your trolling job.

      • EdD,

        The professor in the video is a phd professor of the history of science and denial at a world famous university.

        The facts are obviously true, and your diatribe is obvously false.

  • How does this fit into the equation:

    “The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the “new normal” for most of the coming century.”

    (eScience News). Also we just surpassed ice loss on the same date from the worst year ever, 2007, in the Arctic (NSIDC).

    The point being made is convergence. There is a global event taking place, so we must not make our conclusion on one local area which is as bad as something in that same local area.

    Global is not local.

    • EdD

      “How does this fit into the equation:

      “The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests……………….. ”

      The answer is that it doesn’t fit anywhere except into some ridiculously contrived pseudo-equation dreamed up by a non-scientist. “Megadroughts” have been identified by actual scientitsts, using actual historical data from tree rings, as having occurred in North America during the medieval period, before there was any industrial revolution. How does that fit into your unscientifically posed delusion that the industrial revolution changed the climate of the planet? I guess it doesn’t does it?

      “Global is not local.”

      What? Didn’t you mean to type: “local is not global”? What on earth are you struggling so incoherently to say here?

      You’re going to end up being fired if this is the best you can do at trolling for your employers. Sharpen up before you become an addition to the unemployment statistics.

      • The denial troll EdD provides no links, just denial.

        The 2012 Republican platform states:

        The environment is getting cleaner and healthier. The nation’s air and waterways, as a whole, are much healthier than they were just a few decades ago. Efforts to reduce pollution, encourage recycling, educate the public, and avoid ecological degradation have been a success.

        (The Right is Wrong – 3). What does the ad hominem edD troll say? Denial of course.

  • windcatcher

    Weather as a weapon like HAARP, what did everyone expect? America has been under siege since 9/11 and not by cave men.

    The stock brokers are toast as well since 95% of the trades are done with front-running computers.

    The rise of Silver and gold are doomed with the zipping of the investigation of the manipulation of the precious metals market for “National Security Reasons”

    Whoopee! The fun has just begun!

    • gozounlimited

      Hey …. look at your HAARP evidence at 7:15 am Friday …. the streaks are evidence of chemtrails and radar controlling a fabricated drought. They are literally destroying moisture over Cali …. Look At It! (Some people think it’s a good thing, apparently.)

      • gozounlimited

        Radar is picking up laser activity that controls the heating and moisture through chemtrail flux. Often, these lasers are seen lighting up the atmosphere (sky) and are mistaken for UFO’s during the day and night. Our American comrades are awfully confused.

        • gozounlimited

          This explains it ….. HAARP [High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program] can aim millions of watts of ELF waves into one tiny patch into the atmosphere. HAARP is one of several ELF wave transmitters located all over the world. Whether used in singular fashion or in conjunction, HAARP stations can alter the weather by changing the jet-streams course entirely. Hurricane steering is even possible by heating up the atmosphere and building high pressure domes that could deflect or change the course of rain and hurricanes.

          see here:

          and here:

          Since we have the technology to create rain ….. I wonder why the preference is to keep the drought going ….. Monsanto? Drought corn and soy bean seed testing?

          • gozounlimited

            More for you …. CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE for COVERT GEOENGINEERING: In 2010 Aerospace Engineers published conclusive evidence for Covert Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering, (aka “Chemtrails”) in a 336 page report called “CASE ORANGE”. The report was commissioned by THE BELFORT GROUP (UK), who held a “CHEMTRAILS SYMPOSIUM” where the conclusions were presented by Aerospace Engineer, Dr. Coen Vermeeren. — ALSO: The term “chemtrails” is in the text of 2001 legislation (HR-2977) defined as an “exotic weapon”.

            see video:
            WAKE UP!!!!!!!

    • gozounlimited

      Notice … now that the Geoengineered Olympics are over, the US drought will be lifted. Check out the weather channel …. the co-conspirators for death and destruction.

  • windcatcher

    Thanks gozundlimited for the excellent follow up.

    “Exotic weapon” indeed!

    Of course, the mediocre trolls want to sock-puppet around the issue of weather manipulation as a weapon by blabbering about anything else..

  • Forest_GS

    Step 1: Genetically engineer crops to handle salt water
    Step 2: Pump in ocean water with gigantic pipes
    Step 3: ???? (luck)
    Step4: Profit

  • Forrest

    the massive geo-engineering, persistent contrails or chemtrails have been used for weather modification and weather control. You are a lucky chap to be able to trade in WEATHER DERIVATIVES, in turn making huge profits, also on commodities such as the ruined corn crops for one. Watch ‘Why in the World Are They Spraying’ and the first well done movie by same producers, ‘What in The World Are They Spraying’. aircrap. org is a good start to educating oneself. We are being poisoned by aluminum and other chemicals daily – in addition to spraying the entire world as well. Who are these devils allowing it?