A Major North American Climate Boundary Moves East

In 1879, John Wesley Powell established a line of longitude in the United States representing the boundary between the moist east and the arid west. The 100th meridian wasn't selected just because it was a nice round number. It actually was one of the strongest natural boundaries in the world, marking the switch between the non-irrigated east and the irrigation-necessary west. Thanks to global-scale wind patterns, to the west of the

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One thought on “A Major North American Climate Boundary Moves East

  1. During the debate over how much land to give in homesteads in the area west of the 100th, Congress had Powell survey the situation and report back. Powell’s reply was four sections. In the east where 40 to 80 acres was enough to make a living and between not understanding the climate difference and politics, 160 acres was deemed enough.

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