Study: Warm oceans caused hottest Dust Bowl years in 1934/36

Ocean hot spots could help today’s long-range weather forecasters predict extreme summers for Central US

From the University of New South Wales, this reminds me of the recent issue over the “warm blob” in the Pacific which is strengthening and the current drought situation in the USA. A video follows.

This image shows a dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas. Credit: NOAA George E Marsh Album

This image shows a dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas.
Credit: NOAA George E Marsh Album

Two ocean hot spots have been found to be the potential drivers of the hottest summers on record for the Central US in 1934 and 1936. The research may also help modern forecasters predict particularly hot summers over the central United States many months out.

The unusually hot summers of 1934/36 broke heat records that still stand today. They were part of the devastating dust bowl decade in the US when massive dust storms travelled as far as New York, Boston and Atlanta and silt covered the decks of ships 450km off the east coast.

Research by Dr Markus Donat from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and colleagues has revealed that unusually warm sea surface temperatures occurring at exactly the same time in two very specific locations were likely responsible for creating the record breaking heat.

“In the Pacific, there were anomalously warm ocean temperatures along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska stretching down as far as Los Angeles,” said Dr Donat.

“On the other side of the country in the Atlantic Ocean, in a relatively small area off the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia, the ocean surface was also unusually warm. Together they reduced spring rainfall and created perfect conditions for scorching hot temperatures to develop in the heart of the US.”

As part of their study, the researchers compared the large-scale climate conditions in 1934 and 1936 with those of the extensive recent hot drought years of 2011 and 2012 to see if there were any similarities to the dust bowl years.

They found that in 2011 / 2012 while there were definitely warm ocean temperatures off the coast of Nova Scotia and Maine, the same was not true along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska, where ocean temperatures were below normal.

“The large scale ocean conditions in 2011 and 2012 were very different from 1934 and 1936, suggesting an event of a quite different nature,” Dr Donat said.

“Only very rarely have we seen these very specific ocean regions warm at the same time over the past century, but those combined warm anomalies were never as strong as during the two record breaking years of 1934 and 1936.”

This unusual ocean warming in two regions compounded the impacts on the atmosphere and pressure gradients across the continental US, profoundly changing the weather systems during the spring and summers.

The Atlantic warming off Nova Scotia and Maine meant southerly winds shifted further north-east and the transport of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico northward into the Central US was weakened. At the same time, the Pacific Ocean warming expanded a large Pacific high that also contributed to reduced transport of moist air into the central US.

“Not only did the warming amplify summer temperatures, it also reduced spring rainfall,” Dr Donat said.

“To make matter worse, past research has shown the atmospheric dust over Western North America once summer was underway had a positive feedback that intensified the high pressure system even further.”

“The US has been very fortunate that it has not seen a repeat of this coincident ocean warming at such a level. Should this ocean warming reoccur in exactly the same constellation, because of climate change it is likely the temperature impacts would be even more devastating and those old records may be surpassed.”

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Video explaining the research:

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67 thoughts on “Study: Warm oceans caused hottest Dust Bowl years in 1934/36

  1. An admission that the 30’s were warmer than today. Climate McCarthyism will strike this man shortly.

      • It matters not, these findings are clearly heretical. The only permissible explanation for such events is evil Carbon pollution and it is known beyond 97% proof that the necessary levels of evil carbon pollution were not in evidence in the mid 30’s.

        This man must be taken forth and beaten to death with hockey sticks then burned alive at a special seminar at the COOKMOOC now in progress on line emanating from the University of Queensland.

        Unless, unless this is actually evidence that evil carbon pollution was actually responsible for the period of fairly rapid warming through the 20s to 40’s that eerily imitates that seen through the mid 70s to about 2000. The mechanism that would fully explain this must be in the deep ocean or underneath the West Antarctic icecap. Hmmm…..

        Executioner, executioner … thee may have been a mistake… just wait up there while The Team is assembled to discuss the matter. Confidentially for obvious reasons but of course with internal peer review.

        /satire

  2. “Should this ocean warming reoccur in exactly the same constellation, because of climate change it is likely the temperature impacts would be even more devastating and those old records may be surpassed.”

    Whoomp! There it is. I was wondering when the obligatory obeisance to the “climate change” ideology would appear.

      • “Because of climate change” things may be worse. We see the “climate change” (formerly global warming) comment added to the end of these more and more often, don’t we? Every time something is reported that isn’t exactly inline with CAGW dogma…

        One day that line will cease to appear, but probably not until MIS-0 makes itself too obvious to ignore. With arctic ice reforming where it is since 2012, one would think it would be obvious by now.

        Didn’t AMO just enter its negative phase anyway? This guy’s point is a bit moot for now.

    • Yep! The tell-tale acknowledgement that if you don’t toe the party religious line, your funding will dry up. Shame, because he had me on his side up until that point.

    • Obligatory obeisance for future funding given that there are few to zero climate research jobs in the private sector, (that obscure often ignored place that creates the surplus available for taxation where the funding actually comes from).

    • Every time I read “Because of Climate Change” I am reminded how people would always say, “I have black friends” before they something incredible stupid.

    • In law I believe that would be considered assuming fact not in evidence. In science, I would chalk it up to trying to impart significance to mediocre research.

    • Yeah, from the get-go I was on the lookout for the Kool-Aid statement since the study was from “the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.” And sure enough, there it was.

    • I think there is now a keyboard shortcut for that type nonsense phrase in a single keystroke.

  3. One thing about the Dust Bowl. There was a natural, cyclical ~30-year drought, but the “Dust” part was human caused. Under US Government policies, the great prairie grasslands were plowed up for crops. The grasslands had very deep root systems that would hold the ground (dirt) in place in the face of dry winds while the grass would also lay flat covering the ground. The crops that replaced the grass would leave the dry land bare with no protection, hence the endless dust storms.

  4. Study: Warm oceans caused hottest Dust Bowl years in 1934/36

    But, but, but … I thought we had done away with the Dust Bowl years? Surely they are cooler than the present; after all we have spent billions making sure the “data” says so!

    • What is particularly stupid with this ‘study’ is…what made the oceans warm up so much???

      The sun did, of course. And that is the verboten issue.

  5. “warm blob” in the Pacific which is strengthening…

    honestly does not look like it’s strengthening to me……just rising to the surface and spreading out…..dissipating weakening

  6. Has anyone looked at the rain fall this year? Except for California, which a 1/3 is a naturally occurring desert, has been above normal. Not counting the snow melt from last winter. It will be bumper cops from Texas to Minnesota & Kansas to New England this year.

    • We’re noticably a bit below normal rainfall in Northern New England — 4 inches since Feb 5 vs 6+ inches normal. Nice in some ways — no significant mud season this year. The central plains have been significantly dry. SW OK and adjacent TX have a serious drought problem. But the situation in the rest of TX has improved considerably or late. http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

      • No mud season in southern New Hampshire either. We’ve had brush fires, as the forest floor gets especially dry when the leaves are not out on the trees yet, and I’d say the leaves, which are now finally busting out, are roughly two weeks late this year.

        Even with four feet of powder snow on the level, at the start of March, we had below-normal “melted precipitation” over the winter. What fell never melted, until the sun got high. All in all the winter was both colder and dryer than normal, and now the spring sees me watering my garden when my worry would usually would be that the soil was too muddy.

        There are always some places that are hotter while others are colder, and some places dryer while others are wetter. What is interesting about this study is that it seeks to identify areas of the ocean that match up with areas of land, in terms of weather patterns.

        Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo seem to have done a fairly good job the past two winters matching up the “warm blob” and “El Nino Modoki” sea-surface-temperatures with warm-west and cold-east patterns over the USA. (They, of course, don’t need to throw in any obligatory genuflection to the high priests of Global Warming.) Joe Bastardi seems to be suggesting we may be in for a third winter where the cold pours down in the east, unless the sea-surface temperatures alter dramatically.

  7. What has happened or will happen is of course no doubt our fault. We need the government to take control of our lives NOW!!! We are aLready past the “tipping point”. Hurry before the ocen blobs strike again.

  8. John Cook is doing an AMA at reddit right now. Go and ask him some hard questions

  9. Frequently lost in the discussion of the extreme heat of those summers, especially the multiple state records set in 1936 is the high impact of anthropogenic land-use changes had on increasing the surface temperatures in that era. With more modern plowing techniques, more grassland areas, more extensive use of irrigation, etc., the next time such a prolong drought impacts the Great Plains, extreme temperatures would be lessened to some degree in comparison to those years. Of course, this particular issue is far more complex than a couple of simple sentences, but land-use feedback changes were probably a contributor to increasing the temperature maximums during those summers that may not be quite as pronounced in many locations if a similar scenario occurred today, making for an example, another 121° maximum in my state of residence (North Dakota) more difficult to achieve than some would imagine.

    • Not sure I agree with your logic, but all science is supposition, so you may be right. On the other hand, you may be wrong. Either way, the temperature extremes of those years still exist, everywhere but in the “adjusted data.”

      • The rain records and stream flow data show the 30s drought as both hotter and dryer then anything sense.

    • It was unusually warm all over the earth. This happened earlier with the same exact effects the previous 30 years.

  10. Wait for it… aaaannnnnd there it is.

    At the end of virtually EVERY article on a climate study they have to make a comment about climate change and that ti will get worse.

    Never has propaganda been more obvious.

  11. When a group of people in government and industry decide on a policy, they can use carrots (good jobs, grants, and prestige) and sticks (loss of jobs and grants, organized slander, and worse) to make their guidelines clear, and most people will choose to follow those cues, even if they know that the policy is wrong. Historically, policy makers have told the public that “radiation is good for you,” … ~ (from a Ph.D. in Biology with a specialization in physiology)

    What we are seeing in the filed of “climate”, we also see in the field of “health”. Government involvement usually leads to propaganda and politics rather than true science. Keep that in mind as you listen to any recommendations from your central government.

  12. http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996.9/trend/plot/rss/from:1990/plot/rss/from:2008/to:2010.5/trend/plot/rss/from:2010.5/to:2012.2/trend

    There sure are a lot of wiggles on that graph. With 2/3 of the planet covered in water and with water vapor providing over 90% of the greenhouse effect, aside from occasional volcanic cooling, oceans and water vapor are the only possible explanation for the wiggles. We know that CO2 concentration does not chaotically go up and down all over the planet but we can now see directly that water vapor DOES – http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/eaus/wv-animated.gif

    If oceans and water vapor can alter global average temperature so much over such a short period of time, (less than a ~couple years) – how can anyone claim that those cannot also explain ~99% of the average global temperature change over only a slightly longer period of time such as the late 20th century warming?

    Who dismissed water and how did they get away with it?

  13. You may be interested in this recent paper in Journal of Climate
    “A Link between the Hiatus in Global Warming and North American Drought”

    Abstract ( rather long I am afraid mod):
    Portions of western North America have experienced prolonged drought over the last decade. This drought has occurred at the same time as the global warming hiatus—a decadal period with little increase in global mean surface temperature. Climate models and observational analyses are used to clarify the dual role of recent tropical Pacific changes in driving both the global warming hiatus and North American drought. When observed tropical Pacific wind stress anomalies are inserted into coupled models, the simulations produce persistent negative sea surface temperature anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific, a hiatus in global warming, and drought over North America driven by SST-induced atmospheric circulation anomalies. In the simulations herein the tropical wind anomalies account for 92% of the simulated North American drought during the recent decade, with 8% from anthropogenic radiative forcing changes. This suggests that anthropogenic radiative forcing is not the dominant driver of the current drought, unless the wind changes themselves are driven by anthropogenic radiative forcing. The anomalous tropical winds could also originate from coupled interactions in the tropical Pacific or from forcing outside the tropical Pacific. The model experiments suggest that if the tropical winds were to return to climatological conditions, then the recent tendency toward North American drought would diminish. Alternatively, if the anomalous tropical winds were to persist, then the impact on North American drought would continue; however, the impact of the enhanced Pacific easterlies on global temperature diminishes after a decade or two due to a surface reemergence of warmer water that was initially subducted into the ocean interior.

    The full paper (paywalled) is at :
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00616.1
    (NOAA -Princeton origin).

    • It is interesting that 8% of an effect is caused by 3% of the increase in CO2 concentration. We don’t even know if humans are really responsible for even that 3% – it is just a new wives tale.

      So just how does a 3% contribution to an increase cause 8% of an effect attributable to that increase (if such an attribution holds water in the first place)? Mathematically, the claim is bogus from the get-go.

    • The fantasy of “re-emergence of warmer water that was initially subducted into the ocean interior” in this NOAA-Princeton study is typical of academics totally inexperienced in matters oceanographic.

    • I’d like to offer a translation of the following academic climate jargon:

      The model experiments suggest that if the tropical winds were to return to climatological conditions, then the recent tendency toward North American drought would diminish. Alternatively, if the anomalous tropical winds were to persist, then the impact on North American drought would continue;

      ‘If things change then other things will change. Alternatively, if things stay the same then other things would stay the same’ …

  14. I’d really like to see Joe Bastardi’s take on this, his insight from experience is deeper than young Dr. Donat.

    • Joe B will agree with this. It’s exactly how good operational meteorologists use pattern recognition to out forecast the NWS and/or models. Looking at ocean temperature anomalies in key locations can often provide one heck of a clue regarding what the effects will be in the atmosphere……..sometimes thousands of miles away.

  15. After adjusting away the hot land temperatures of the 1930s our experts should have also adjusted away the warm blobs at sea. Then we wouldn’t have to worry for there would be nothing to repeat.

    It isn’t too late, reduce those ocean records now! And in a few days we would learn the Dust Bowl never happened either. And it might even prevent WW2.

    I was a child in that Dust Bowl. The extensive plowing is, IMO, the cause. No trees were left for miles, no windbreaks. Plowing was done right up to the edge of every creek and river. The previous decades had been prosperous and encouraged farmers to plant every square inch. That had destroyed the native, deeper rooted, plants. And much of the area had no natural lakes whatever, I seem to recall Kansas itself was said to have zero natural lakes.

    • Nah its the radiation from the global warming induced earthquake/tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima reactors heating the water and killing everything and causing the California draught.

  16. droughts world wide-

    1934-

    A survey of the world drought threat reveals ruinous
    losses by farmers, and in many parts of the world an ac
    tual shortage of food. Young crops have been blasted in
    the ground by the scorching sun, and thousands of cattle
    have been left pastureless.
    The.disaster is felt from the Mississippi to the Volga,
    and from the Yugo-Slavian Valley to the Western Canadian
    prairies.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/150245331?searchTerm=world%20drought&searchLimits=

    • I.E. – Nothing has changed; not only do they not seem to know what’s going on now any better than they did back in 1934, their water carriers were even busy bumping the “alarmism” meter back then too:

      “Only 15 of the 100 glaciers observed last year increased; four were stationary and 81 decreased.”

      “Only”? I believe the correct word should have been “Luckily”! Imagine the crop failures down stream if the numbers were inverted so only 15 decreased while 81 increased?

      And surely if global temperature “controlled” drought we would have noticed some sort of correlation by now. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/drought/wetdry/bar-mod-110-00/190001-201206.gif

      Which is exactly what the IPCC admitted in the AR5, they did not see one: “Confidence is low for a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century, owing to lack of direct observations, methodological uncertainties and geographical inconsistencies in the trends.”

      https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter02_FINAL.pdf

  17. grim years world wide 1933-36

    1933: Rare Hurricane Slams Into South Africa
    1933: Bitter Winter Weather In Russia & Europe: Snow Causes Wolves To Attack Train
    1933: West Australian Heat Wave – “Severest In History”
    1933: Heat Waves, Floods, Droughts, Famines Plague China
    1933: Spain’s Heat Wave: 130 Degrees In Shade
    1933: Heat Wave Causes New Jersey Road To “Explode”
    1933: Hottest June In U.S. History – Heat Wave & Drought
    1933: 21 Perish During Texas, Louisiana Tornado & Hail Storms
    1933: Drought In South Africa – “Worst Outlook For 50 Years”
    1933: Flooding In China Kills 50,000
    1933: India’s Ganges River Bursts Its Banks – Widespread Flood Damage & Fatalities
    1934: 80% of U.S. Suffers From Drought Conditions
    1934: “Heat Wave In China Kills One In Every Thousand”
    1934: Antarctic Has Incredible Heat Wave – 25 Degrees Over Zero
    1934: February Tornado Strikes Several U.S. States
    1934: World Wide Drought & Heat Causes Vast Majority of Alps’ Glaciers To Melt
    1934: Iowa Heat Wave In May – Pushes Temps Over 110 Degrees
    1934: All 48 U.S. States Over 100 Degrees During June
    1934: 14 Days of Above 100°F Temps Kill Over 600 Americans
    1934: South African Drought Severely Hits Farmers
    1934: Nebraska Temperatures Soar To 117 Degrees
    1934: Drought, Heat, Floods, Cyclones, & Forest Fires Hit Europe
    1934: British Drought Stunts Hay Growth
    1934: Worst Drought In England For 100 Years
    1934: 7 Days of Incessant, Torrential Rains Cause Massive Flooding In Eastern Bengal
    1934: Global Warming Causes 81% Of Swiss Glaciers To Retreat
    1934: Canadian Crops Blasted By Intense Heat Wave
    1934: “South African Floods Are Unprecedented”
    1934: Typhoon Hits Japan Followed By A Massive Tsunami
    1934: Record Heat And Drought Across The Midwest
    1934: China’s Fall Crops Burning Up During Drought & Heat
    1934: Five Million Americans Face Starvation From Drought
    1934: Adelaide, Australia Has Record Dry Spell
    1934: Gigantic Hailstorm Blankets South African Drought Region
    1934: Drought And Sweltering Heat In England
    1934: Record Heat Bakes Wisconsin – 104°F
    1934: 20 Nebraskans Succumb To Unprecedented 117 Degree Heat
    1934: Poland Swamped By Floods – Hundreds Perish
    1934: 115 Degrees In Iowa Breaks Record
    1934: 115 Degrees Reached In China In The Shade – Heat Wave Ruining Crops
    1934: Majority of Continental U.S. Suffers From Drought Conditions
    1934: Severe Northern Hemisphere Drought Causes Wheat Prices To “Skyrocket”
    1934: Extreme U.S. Winter Weather Leaves 60 Dead In Its Path
    1935: Severe Wind Storm Lashes Western States With 60 MPH Gusts
    1935: Florida Burns Its Dead After The Most Powerful Hurricane In US History
    1935: “The Worst Dust Storm In History” – Kansas City
    1935: Worst Drought Since 1902 Has Queensland, Australia In Its Grip
    1935: “50 Dust Storms In 104″ Days
    1935: France Cooked By Heat Wave
    1935: Tropical Windstorm Strikes Texas With 85 MPH Gusts
    1935: ‘Black Dusters’ Strike Again In The Texas Dust Bowl
    1935: India Hit With Extreme Heat Wave – 124 Degrees
    1935: Heat Wave, Drought & Torrential Rains Cause Misery In Europe
    1936: “Niagara Falls Freezes Into One Giant Icicle”
    1936: February Was Coldest In U.S. History
    1936: Italian Alps Glacier Shrinks: WWI Army Bodies Uncovered By Melting
    1936: Ice Bridge In Iceland Collapses From Heat Wave & Glacier Melt
    1936: Violent Tornadoes Pummel The South – 300 Dead
    1936: Dust, Snow & Wind Storm Hit Kansas Region In Same Day
    1936: Unprecedented Heat Wave In Moscow
    1936: Ukraine Wheat Harvest Threatened By Heat Wave
    1936: 780 Canadians Die From Heat Wave
    1936: Iowa Heat Wave Has 12 Days of Temperatures Over 100 Degrees
    1936: Heat Wave Deaths In Just One Small U.S. City: 50 Die In Springfield, IL
    1936: Missouri Heat Wave: 118 Degrees & 311 Deaths
    1936: Ontario, Canada Suffers 106 Degree Temps During Heat Wave
    1936: Alaska’s 10-Day Heat Wave Tops Out At 108 Degrees
    1936 : Record Heat Wave Bakes Midwest; “Condition of Crops Critical”
    1936: Midwest Climate So Bad That Climate Scientist Recommends Evacuation of Central U.S.
    1936: 12,000 Perish In U.S. Heat Wave – Murderous Week
    1936: Single Day Death Toll From Heat Wave – 1,000 Die
    1936: Iceland Hurricane Sinks Polar Research Ship Filled With Scientists
    1936: Severe Drought & Disastrous Floods In Southern Texas
    1936: 20,000 Homeless In Flame Ravaged Forests of Oregon
    1936: Northern California Seared By Forest Fires Over 400-Mile Front
    1936: Tremendous Gale & Mountainous Waves Pound S. California – 7 Persons Missing
    1936: Glacier Park Hotel Guests Flee As Forest Fire Advances – Worst Fire In Years
    1936: Iowa Christmas Season Heat Wave Sets Temperature Records – 58 Degrees

  18. Will climate “researchers” ever be able to make the 1930’s look cool and wet? Stay tuned – they’ve just started to adjust.

  19. At the moment the jet stream is well to the south of its normal track across the Atlantic. lf this lasts through out the summer then the chances of the warm blob forming in the northern Atlantic look low.

  20. has revealed that unusually warm sea surface temperatures occurring at exactly the same time in two very specific locations were likely responsible for creating the record breaking heat.

    “In the Pacific, there were anomalously warm ocean temperatures along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska stretching down as far as Los Angeles,” said Dr Donat.

    “On the other side of the country in the Atlantic Ocean, in a relatively small area off the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia, the ocean surface was also unusually warm. Together they reduced spring rainfall and created perfect conditions for scorching hot temperatures to develop in the heart of the US.”

    As part of their study, the researchers compared the large-scale climate conditions in 1934 and 1936 with those of the extensive recent hot drought years of 2011 and 2012 to see if there were any similarities to the dust bowl years.

    They found that in 2011 / 2012 while there were definitely warm ocean temperatures off the coast of Nova Scotia and Maine, the same was not true along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska, where ocean temperatures were below normal.

    “The large scale ocean conditions in 2011 and 2012 were very different from 1934 and 1936, suggesting an event of a quite different nature,” Dr Donat said.

    “Only very rarely have we seen these very specific ocean regions warm at the same time over the past century, but those combined warm anomalies were never as strong as during the two record breaking years of 1934 and 1936.”

    What’s interesting about this is that the Pacific blob showed up a year or so later.

    • l can understand the reason why there was a warm blob in the northern Atlantic in 2012. Because there was a blocking high sitting over the north Atlantic during April of that year. Which would of drawn warm air up from the south across western N Atlantic. So what they seem to be suggesting is that there needs to be blocking highs set up over the NE Pacific and over northern Atlantic during the spring. For these heat waves to happen in the USA during the summer.

      • My suggestion would be to check if there was blocking highs over the NE Pacific and North Atlantic during the winter/spring of the years leading up to these heatwaves. lf there was then try to found out how would this be linked to the summer heat waves. lf there is no link then it looks like my suggestion is wrong or these warm blobs just happened to turn up by chance.

      • I think a near miss.
        The Pacific high, send the jet stream over the Northwest coast, and then dips down over the midwest and then up to the northeast, I wonder if when you add an Atlantic High, the Jet can’t bend that sharp, so it snaps north, and runs across the upper midwest straight from the west coast. That would bring the storm line way north.
        Also, I know the dust bowl wasn’t all due to weather, but weather did play a big part.

      • l think l have found a link between 2012 and 1936.
        Back in 1936 the UK had cool northerly weather for the first 3 weeks of April, which suggests there was a blocking high over the northern Atlantic for much of April. Just like what happened in 2012.

  21. Too bad he wasn’t partnered up with another researcher named Caffey. The best we ever had at the dental college was a presentation given by Hertt & Payne.

  22. pyeatte May 4, 2015 at 7:30 am
    One thing about the Dust Bowl. There was a natural, cyclical ~30-year drought, but the “Dust” part was human caused. Under US Government policies, the great prairie grasslands were plowed up for crops. The grasslands had very deep root systems that would hold the ground (dirt) in place in the face of dry winds while the grass would also lay flat covering the ground. The crops that replaced the grass would leave the dry land bare with no protection, hence the endless dust storms.

    Repeated for effect. Stubble burning was rampant at the time as well, which turbo charged the whole mess. Low till, zero till, stubble left on fields to keep soil in place as well as capture drifting snow for early moisture in fields, planting of wind breaks…. long list of things that will make the next big drought period rather different from the dirty 30’s.

    That said, I haven’t read the paper, but I see no mention of a causal link. Just correlation? Based on data acquired by ships throwing buckets overboard and hauling them up to take the temperature. Limited accuracy by sampling method, limited accuracy by instrumentation, and limited accuracy in terms of location. Don’t know if I trust the correlation, and if I had all the data, I bet I could find two or three areas of the ocean that were anomalously cold at that exact point in time (its always warmer somewhere and colder somewhere than usual on this planet of ours) so without a causal link, its just correlation.

  23. I think that the Blob will not be with us for much longer. Several weeks ago I mentioned that an intrusion of cooler waters was workings it,s way through the middle of the Blob …
    goldminor
    April 21, 2015 at 1:46 pm
    I have been watching this for some time, also. I noticed that at the beginning of this month that there were cool inroads being made into the center of the Blob….https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/21/north-pacific-update-the-blobs-strengthening-suggests-its-not-ready-to-depart/#comment-1913298

    Since the above comment was made the ssta has changed considerably, a bit faster than I thought it would. I was thinking that by July it would be mostly gone, but that could take place somewhat quicker at the current rate of change.

  24. unusually warm sea surface temperatures occurring at exactly the same time in two very specific locations were likely responsible for creating the record breaking heat“. One event, no mechanism, and when they compare with 2011-12 they find something different. OK, it’s interesting that there were two areas of warm sea at the time of the dust bowl, but without anything more it is a step too far to claim any connection. As others have pointed out, there were some farming practices that exacerbated the drought.

  25. I think that oceans are a great barometer for our planet and that it’s extremely important to keep an eye on them and to be attentive in which way we do influence them. The oceans affected by naval and merchant ships operating and sailing the seas back and forth should have been the hottest topic in the debate on climate change since meteorology was established as a science in the late 19th century. Instead of that, oceans were ignored up to the late 20th century and not even today do they enjoy the significant position they deserve. Oceans are a decisive climatic force, the second after the sun.I emphasize with the idea that Naval War had a great impact in the climate change. I suggest visiting http://www.1ocean-1climate.com, you’ll find information that will sustain my idea.

  26. The warm spots in the two oceans are unrelated and most likely have nothing to do with the Dust Bowl. The warm spot in the Atlantic is related to the sudden increase of Arctic warming at the begiinning of the twentieth century (see my paper in E&E),. Prior to that there was nothing in the Arctic but slow, linear cooling for two thousand years. The warming was caused by a change in the North Arlantic current system that started to carry warm Gulf Stream water into the high Arctic. The warm spot in the Atlantic is related to this diversion of the Gulf Stream flow to the north. This phase of Arctic warming ended in 1940 and was followed by thirty years of cooling. Warming resumed in 1970 and is still going on. I attribute the Blob in the Pacific to highly unusual wind patterns involving a strengthening and diversion of the westerlies which then hijacked the warm water of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, pushed it across the ocean, and puddled it up against the coast of the Gulf of Alaska, Canada, and our northwest states. It is apparently a rare occurrence that we should not expect to see again for quite a while.

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