Scientific Colloquium
February 18, 2005
During the 1930s the United States experienced one of the most devastating
droughts of the last century.  The drought affected almost 2/3 of the
country and parts of Mexico and Canada and was infamous for the numerous
dust storms that lead to the characterization of much of the
southern Great Plains as the "Dust Bowl".  In this talk, I will
present results from an ensemble of  100-year simulations with an
atmospheric general circulation model forced with observed sea surface
temperatures.  The simulations indicate that the drought
was caused  by anomalous tropical sea surface temperatures during that
decade and that interactions between the atmosphere and the land surface
increased its severity.  I will also contrast the 1930s drought with other
North American droughts of the 20th century.

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