Climate Impact Report – 02/01

Quick Facts

90 million

Americans across 19 states are in the path of the next winter storm to streak across the U.S.


Climate change will cause the nation’s flooding losses to jump more than 26% over the next three decades

Twice as bad

Factoring in air moisture along with heat shows that climate change since 1980 is nearly twice as bad as previously calculated

Key Facts Of The Day 2/1

Storms and Flooding

  • Climate change will cause the nation’s flooding losses to jump more than 26% over the next three decades from $32.1 billion to $40.6 billion, with disadvantaged communities shouldering an outsize share of the economic burden.

    • The forecast assumes nations will reduce planet-warming emissions roughly in line with the targets agreed upon at the recent COP26 climate summit. If those targets aren’t met, the costs could be even greater.

    • The most-pronounced flood risk now rests with impoverished White communities, but Black communities will see their flooding costs increase twice as quickly moving forward, largely for geographic reasons.

    • The southeastern U.S., which is home to large Black populations, is expected to experience more hurricanes as temperatures continue to rise.

    • Flooding costs are expected to increase 49% in Jackson, Mississippi and 24% in far-inland Montgomery, Alabama.

    • The sharpest cost increases are projected to occur in the Southeast, along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Flood damages are expected to spike 372% in Cameron County, Texas. In Miami-Dade County, Florida the forecast is 50.9%. Several southern Louisiana counties could see tenfold jumps.

    • The forecast also points to possible hot spots far inland, in mountainous areas like Teton County, Wyoming with a 20.5% and Grant County, Washington with a 23.8% increase in flood costs. Albemarle County, Virginia, home to Charlottesville, is expected to see its flooding costs increase by about a third.

    • Flood costs will grow even if governments around the globe are able to dramatically decarbonize the environment starting immediately.

  • 90 million Americans across 19 states are in the path of the next winter storm to streak across the U.S.

    • The storm could also impact businesses and consumers as weather conditions may slow down or even stop a few trucks from transporting goods through parts of the Central U.S. for a few days this week.

    • Denver, Colorado, Dallas, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan are among the major metro areas expected to face wintry consequences and potential travel trouble.

    • Major highway arteries across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley southwestward into Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas may also be impacted.

    • An expansive area of snow and ice, extending along a 2,000-mile-long swath of the country, is expected as early as Tuesday night from portions of Colorado and New Mexico to Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

    • By Wednesday night, the wintry hazards are forecast to expand farther south and east into Texas, Arkansas, and part of the lower Ohio Valley.

    • As the storm shifts toward the Eastern Seaboard late in the week, weather will directly affect travel in some parts of the Northeast.

  • Climate change may be supercharging Northeast snowstorms.

    • The weekend blizzard that hit coastal Mid-Atlantic and New England with up to 30.9 inches of snow and howling winds is consistent with climate science research showing how the characteristics of these winter storms are changing.

    • Many of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast’s biggest snowstorms on record have occurred since 2000, in line with climate change-related trends toward more frequent and severe heavy precipitation events.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 2 large active wildfires that have burned 926 acres across CA and FL. As of Friday, 1,302 wildfires have burned 25,691 acres across the country.

  • As of Tuesday, the Colorado Fire in California has burned 687 acres and is 98% contained.

  • January 2022 will go down as one of the region’s driest Januarys on record. Just a few weeks without rainfall was enough to dry out the ground, warm up the air and increase the risk for wildfires.

    • While the majority of California’s wildfires occur during the summer months, the risk for more wildfires starting year-round is increasing because climate change is leading to warmer, drier and even windier conditions throughout the year.

  • The Sand Springs, Oklahoma area faces unique wildfire risk.

    • In 2020, the Sand Springs Fire Department responded to 155 fire calls, a third of which were grass or brush fires.

    • Sand Springs is part of a wildland-urban interface, a transitional area between wilderness and land developed by human activity, which is at a greater risk of catastrophic wildfire.

  • Currently 32 counties in Oklahoma are under a burn ban, and nearly the entire western half of the state is experiencing extreme drought.

Extreme Heat

  • In July 2021 over 150 community volunteers in Raleigh and Durham County, North Carolina spent a day collecting data for the Urban Heat Island Temperature Mapping Campaign.

    • On Feb. 3 at 6.p.m, project partners will host the Raleigh/Durham HeatWatch UHI Data Release, a public webinar to introduce these maps to the community and discuss efforts to mitigate heat islands.

  • Researchers say temperature by itself isn’t the best way to measure climate change; measurements should also include humidity.

    • Factoring in air moisture along with heat shows that climate change since 1980 is nearly twice as bad as previously calculated.

    • The energy generated in extreme weather, such as storms, floods and rainfall is related to the amount of water in the air.

    • Water vapor is a potent heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere that increases climate change.

    • From 1980 to 2019, the world warmed about 1.42 degrees, but taking energy from humidity into account, the world has warmed and moistened 2.66 degrees.

    • In the tropics, the warming was as much as 7.2 degrees.

    • The high humidity in the tropics increases storm activity, from regular storms to tropical cyclones and monsoons.

New Reports And Data

  • A January 2022 study found that offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico could create 17,500 jobs.

  • A January 2022 study found that U.S. flooding losses will spike 26% by 2050 due to climate change.

  • A January 2022 study found that the combination of surface air temperature and humidity is a more comprehensive metric not only for global warming but also for its impact on climate and weather extremes.


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