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Big Environmental Disasters

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The Dust Bowl. During the 1930s, a period of severe dust storms engulfed the American and Canadian prairie lands. The cause: a severe drought coupled with decades of land misuse that left topsoil susceptible to the wind. The so called "black blizzards" forced hundreds of thousands of people in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Minnesota to abandon their farms, exacerbating the dire economic conditions of the Great Depression. This image shows a dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, on April 18, 1935.

PHOTO: NOAA/MCT/Newscom/File

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