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The percentage of people migrating into the Dust Bowl between the 1920s was approximately 47.3%.During the 1930s, this figure dropped to about 15.5%.
The Florida panhandle is also expected to see drought conditions moving into summer.
Along with crop losses, the expanding drought promises to bring more wildfires to the west as well as to parts of Minnesota and even Iowa.
In fact, this ongoing drought has caused more economic damage all told than Hurricane Sandy.
While winter precipitation eased the conditions somewhat, federal researchers believe that more than half the country is still gripped by drought with no foreseeable end in sight and another hot dry summer just around the corner.
To wit, California experienced its driest January and February on record, and average winter temperatures across the continental U. were 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for last century.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that drought conditions are likely to remain in the central and western sections of the U. while expanding in California, the Southwest, the southern Rockies and Texas.In comparison, the number of people migrating out the Dust Bowl was approximately 38.4% between 19, this increased to 45.6% between 19.Researchers also suggest that the so-called “Dust Bowl migrants,” who faced the resentment that we often see towards newcomers, were not more likely to move to California than migrants from any other part of the country.The farmers plowed the prairie grasses and planted dry land wheat.As the demand for wheat products grew, cattle grazing was reduced, and millions more acres were plowed and planted.In fact, Thomas Friedman famously linked Syria’s drought with growing political instability (paywall).In the last few years, scientists have been calling on the world to act on the US to act on “the next Dust Bowl“—droughts much worse than the one that struck the US in the 1930s is set to hit Mexico and Central America.Researchers claim their working paper is the first attempt to systematically measure gross migration during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.Some draw parallels between the Dust Bowl and the current refugee crisis in Europe.Once a semi-arid grassland, the treeless plains became home to thousands of settlers when, in 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act.Most of the settlers farmed their land or grazed cattle.