Climate Impact Report – 01/11

Quick Facts

12 states

spanning from Montana to Maine face wind chill warnings and advisories


from wildfires actually contributing equal or greater amounts of ozone to the remote atmosphere than urban pollution

record high

ocean warmth set in 2021 as a result of greenhouse gas emissions

Key Facts Of The Day 1/11

Storms and Flooding

  • 12 states spanning from Montana to Maine face wind chill warnings and advisories.

    • A cold front entering the eastern Atlantic Ocean and Arctic air moving into the northeast U.S. contributed to the extreme cold forecast for Tuesday.

    • Temperatures in New York City are forecast to fall as much as 20 degrees below normal Tuesday morning, threatening residents with frozen water pipes, flooding and other infrastructure damage.

    • Windchill is forecast to reach -25 degrees in Burlington, Vermont, and -8 degrees in Boston, where schools have been closed Tuesday.

    • In spots across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions, windchill temperatures are expected to drop as low as -40.

    • The Midwest and South will also be affected, with Tuesday morning temperatures reaching 29 degrees in Atlanta, Georgia, 22 degrees in Nashville, Tennessee, 6 degrees in Detroit, Michigan, 4 degrees in Chicago, Illinois and -6 degrees in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

  • Almost a week after the D.C. region saw its biggest winter storm since 2019, delays in basic services such as power, trash pickup, and mail delivery plagued parts of the region.

    • At about 5 p.m. Monday, about 2,100 Rappahannock Electric Cooperative customers still did not have power.

    • Problems in the Rappahannock area included hundreds of broken poles and downed trees at thousands of locations.

      • Because the cooperative serves more rural, isolated areas than other utilities, repairs can take longer.

    • A Central Virginia Electric Cooperative customer who lives near Gordonsville, Va., said her family was running its generator and using two propane fireplaces to keep the house “somewhat warm” before power was restored a full week after she had lost power.

    • Across the city, there were reports of overflowing garbage bins in alleys and parks, and holiday trees awaiting collection by the District’s composting program.

  • The City of Sweetwater, Texas, purchased generators in preparation for storms.

    • More than 4.8 million Texans lost power and at least 200 died in last February’s winter storm. A deregulated power grid added more problems to a chaotic week when it failed.

    • In hopes of preventing major power outages, the City of Sweetwater purchased seven generators at around $1.5 million.

  • Pennsylvania state officials and school leaders said ice presents more of a challenge than snow because rain will wash away materials already on the road and ice is less visible to motorists.

    • Danville Area School District was closed Monday and every other school district in the Valley had two-hour delays, a day after an ice storm coated most of the Valley.

    • Residents reported a quarter of an inch of ice from the storm in Sunbury, Trevorton and Northumberland in Northumberland County and in Mifflinburg in Union County.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 0 large active wildfires. As of Friday, 165 wildfires have burned 1,729 acres across the country.

  • Smoke from wildfires are actually contributing equal or greater amounts of ozone to the remote atmosphere than urban pollution.

    • Even in the heavily populated northern hemisphere, ozone from fire emissions was roughly equal to that from urban ozone sources, which are dominated by fossil fuel exhaust.

    • In the less-heavily developed Southern Hemisphere and the Tropical Atlantic ozone attributed to fires outweighed that from urban sources.

  • Pandemic adds time and cost to rebuilding after the Marshall Fire destroyed nearly 1,100 homes.

    • Homeowners must deal with insurers, land surveyors, architects and more, but in Colorado and other states hit by natural disasters this year, the pandemic has injected extra uncertainty and created more obstacles.

    • Shortages of workers and raw materials will make rebuilding slower and more expensive.

    • Even without a pandemic, it took nearly seven years to completely rebuild after a 2012 fire that destroyed hundreds of homes in Colorado Springs.

    • Compounding the stress for Colorado’s recent wildfire victims is an extremely tight housing market, with few homes for sale or rent, families are struggling to find temporary shelter.

    • Rex and Barba Hickman’s home of 23 years near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains has been reduced to a blackened heap.

Extreme Heat

  • 2021 was Earth’s fifth-hottest year on record.

    • The seven hottest years on record have been the past seven.

    • Last year the United States and Europe had their warmest summers.

    • Higher temperatures around the Arctic caused it to rain for the first time.

    • The mean temperature globally last year was 2 to 2.2 degrees higher than it was before industrialization led humans to begin pumping large quantities of carbon dioxide into the air.

    • The steady warming corresponds with the scientific consensus that increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing long-lasting changes in the global climate.

  • Ocean warmth sets record high in 2021 as a result of greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Since the late 1980s, Earth’s oceans have warmed at a rate eight times faster than in the preceding decades.

    • Last year, the record warmth manifested in several extreme weather events.

      • Hurricane Ida caused intense flooding and thunderstorms, ranking as the fifth-most expensive hurricane on record, with damage estimated at $75 billion.

      • Hurricane Nicholas and Tropical Storms Elsa and Fred also inflicted billions of dollars’ worth of damage.

      • The unusual December tornadoes that struck several states can also be traced to the warm waters.

      • As the ocean warms, the water expands and raises sea levels.

  • 2021 was Massachusetts’ third-warmest year since 1895.

    • In Western Massachusetts, the average temperature in 2021 was the second warmest on record.

    • Massachusetts in 2021 experienced its warmest June and second-warmest summer, as well as its wettest July and fourth-wettest summer.

    • The average temperature of 50.8 degrees in 2021 was 2 degrees above normal and 3.9 degrees above the 20th century mean.

    • In Berkshire County, warmer and wetter conditions due to climate change are expected to produce more severe storms, worse summer heat waves and disruptions to the ecosystems that draw tourists to the Berkshires.

  • 2021 was St. Louis, Missouri’s sixth-warmest year on record.

    • St. Louis’ average 2021 temperature was 59 degrees, 1.6 degrees warmer than the 30-year average from 1991 to 2020.

    • Four of St. Louis’ six hottest years on record have occurred since 2012.

  • 2021 December warmth broke records in Atlanta, Georgia.

    • Temperatures were abnormally warm throughout December and the temperature never fell to freezing for the first time in recorded history.

  • With a warm and slow start to the ice fishing season, colder temperatures in the next two weeks are needed for better ice.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 study found that ecological communities on the Oregon coast are being destabilized by the pressures of climate change despite giving an appearance of stress resistance.

  • A January 2022 study found that the recovery of the fisher will likely be hindered by the increasing frequency and intensity of future wildfires.

  • A January 2022 study found that rising temperatures are causing a ‘growing diversity’ of bacteria in the sea around the UK that can harm sea creatures and human health.


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