Albert RodriguezEDTC 6341.61Cycle A Individual Analysis – Teacher as a Problem Solver The Dust BowlStep 1: Read and analyze the scenario and the situationScenario:Recent articles suggest that a new dust bowl is likely to form in the southwest UnitedStates, an area of limited water resources. Your Earth system analysis of the impactof climate change on this area will help the region adapt if necessary.A major part of the Dust Bowl story concerns the Ogalalla Aquifer, an undergroundwater source that covers 10,000 square miles from Texas to the Dakotas. Water fromthe Ogallala irrigates one fifth of all U.S. cropland. Yet, there are increasing signsthat this vital resource may be losing in its ability to sustain agriculture at its presentlevels.Your team has been working with NASA satellite missions to quantify changes in thewater resources in the Dust Bowl region. Your work will assist in developing policyconcerning this most precious resource.Step 2: List what you knowEvent on SphereE>AFor about 60 years heat, drought, hail, wildfires, clearing of land for farms andranches, along with an extremely large western migration of people loosened thetopsoil that covered the Great Plains. This topsoil infused the atmosphere; darkeningthe sky with a choking blanket of dirt, dust, and debris for many miles through manycommunities.E>BPeople and animals were temporarily lost and some even perished as a result ofsuffocation, and/or accidents that happened due to lack of visibility.E>HThe dust storms blew over and into bodies of water including the Atlantic Oceanwhere it affected the hydrosphere to some degree. The drought also dried out smallbodies of water in the drought zone which in essence added to the dry soil availablefor displacement by the dust storms.
Albert RodriguezEDTC 6341.61Cycle A Individual Analysis – Teacher as a Problem SolverE>LThe lithosphere was affected by speeding up the process of erosion and deposition.This cause had negative effects on farming. The lithosphere dynamics no longerfunctioned – during and immediately after – in the same way regarding the purposes itserves. For example, farming for people and habitat for animals were foreverchanged by this process.Sphere to SphereL>A>H>BParts of the lithosphere were deposited by the atmosphere in hydrosphere whichaffected its biosphere.L>AThe movement of the topsoil (lithosphere) into the air (hydrosphere) disturbed thebalance of the gases available in the atmosphere.H>BThe drought, the erosion and deposition of topsoil caused a migration of people andanimals from the affected area to more “stable” grounds.B>L>APeople played a factor, arguably the biggest factor, in altering the lithosphere toaffect the atmosphere with the blowing dust.Step 3 –List what is unknown 1. What was the actual cause of the Dust Bowl, or was it a combination of factors? 2. Does the fact that there is now a larger population of people in the U.S. and more area occupied make a difference when considering the possibilities of there being another Dust Bowl? 3. Does any rainfall or other water source feed into the Ogallala Aquifer? a. If it does, which source and how much? b. If there isn’t a feeding source, how much water is left? 4. What amounts of water are lost from the Ogallala Aquifer every year? 5. Do some agricultural crops loosen up the topsoil more than others? 6. Did crop rotation play a role on the large amounts of loose topsoil?
Albert RodriguezEDTC 6341.61Cycle A Individual Analysis – Teacher as a Problem Solver 7. Would plowing land in a direction that favors wind patterns as opposed to plowing land in a direction that favors sunlight have made a difference? 8. How much of the grasslands were lost since 1969 to the beginning of the Dust Bowl? 9. How much of the grasslands have been replaced or substituted since the end of the Dust Bowl? a. How do farmers typically plow their lands? b. How did farmers typically plow their lands? 10. Are weather patterns today similar to that of the Dust Bowl Era? 11. Can this weather phenomenon be compared to similar weather events in other parts of the world? 12. Could an equation be done with the factors of the Dust Bowl Era plugged in and compare that same equation with real-time information? 13. How realistic is the possibility of creating an early warning system for citizens in the area prone to such an event in case of such as event? 14. How are the populations different and similar to the 1930s? 15. Would global warming contribute to creating an event, just like or even worse than the Dust Bowl?