In this activity, students explore three indicators of drought are: soil moisture, lack of precipitation, and decreased streamflows. Students investigate each of these parameters develop a sense for the effects of drought on land.
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This investigation is part of the NASA: Mission Geography Module "What are the causes and consequences of climate change?" that guides students through explorations in climatic variability and evidence for global climate change.
Students analyze historic plant growth data (i.e., Peak Bloom dates) of Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry blossom trees, as well as atmospheric near surface temperatures as evidence for explaining the phenomena of earlier Peak Blooms in our nation’s capital.
Drought conditions have affected much of the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains in recent years. But scientists now believe future droughts in the last half of this century could be the worst in the past millennium.