As the image to the left illustrates, during the summer of 2011, higher than normal temperatures and dry vegetation mixed with high winds and low humidity to create extreme drought conditions in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and parts of Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, and Louisiana. Your task is to determine whether the drought is a consequence of global climate change, or are these conditions more likely normal seasonal weather patterns for this area?
Should Texas and other states in the Great Plains plan for long-term drier weather and higher temperatures? Or will the weather return to more temperate conditions with varying higher and lower seasonal temperatures and precipitation levels?
In carrying out your task, consider whether human interventions to the waterways and landscape play a role in exaggerating ecology changes.
The National Park Service is interested in your analysis of this situation because your research results (causes and consequences) might apply to other ecological areas across the country.