Climate Impact Report – 02/07

Quick Facts

Storm Landon

The icing caused by storm Landon this week was the worst in decades in Texas state history

more than 1/3

of the American population is currently experiencing rapid, above-average rates of temperature increase

New research

UC Davis Health researchers discovered wildfire smoke puts even healthy people at risk of developing lung disease

Key Facts Of The Day 2/7

Storms and Flooding

  • The icing caused by storm Landon this week was the worst in decades in Texas state history.

    • Photos of the storm’s immediate aftermath shows felled trees and tree limbs all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with some pictured falling onto cars and others collapsing onto homes.

    • Texans say trees are literally exploding due to the freezing temperatures throughout the state courtesy of winter storm Landon.

      • The cold temperatures freeze the water in the tree’s sap, causing excess weight along the tree’s limbs.

    • The temperatures dropped so low that even the firewood had become frozen.

    • Hundreds of people were left stranded in miles-long traffic jams near San Antonio after the storm pummeled the South with heavy snow and icy conditions.

      • Drivers were trapped in their cars for up to 12 hours on the major freeway I-10 in sub-freezing temperatures.

  • In Memphis, Tennessee, the winter storm caused a 16 vehicle pile-up that sent two people to hospital in critical condition and left four others injured.

  • The tornado count from Thursday’s round of severe weather now stands at five in Alabama.

    • One of those tornadoes, in Hale County near Sawyerville, killed one person and injured eight others.

    • The latest two tornadoes added to the list were both in Elmore County. Neither caused injuries but did down some trees and damaged some homes.

  • The winter storm caused more than a foot of snow to fall in parts of Pennsylvania, New York and New England on Friday amid widespread warnings about roads and sidewalks icing over due to plummeting temperatures.

  • The severe weather caused power outages across the country. The hardest hit state is Tennessee, where nearly 133,000 homes are without power, while Ohio has more than 72,000 outages and New York has 59,000. Power is down for thousands more people across the states of Texas, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania

  • A year after Winter Storm Uri caused blackouts, records suggest that Texas natural gas inspections don’t match the claims of state regulators.

    • The Railroad Commission has yet to write winterization standards for gas wells, pipelines and storage facilities.

    • For about 40% of the pipeline and storage sites Texas deems critical, operators hadn’t conducted a winterization test or company officials didn’t know if one had been performed.

    • One gas-fired plant was forced to shut down a month after state inspectors said its supply pipelines had passed an inspection.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 12 large active wildfires that have burned 2,621 acres across AL, FL. and OK. As of Friday, 2,388 wildfires have burned 40,822 acres across the country.

  • A team of researchers at UC Davis Health discovered wildfire smoke puts even healthy people at risk of developing lung disease.

  • Beaver dams help wildfire-ravaged ecosystems recover long after flames subside by mopping up debris that would otherwise kill fish and other downstream wildlife.

  • The Lafayette Fire Department partnered with the nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace to build bunk beds for kids who lost their beds in the fire.

  • A Napa man is rebuilding his Silverado home, which burned down during the 2017 Atlas Fire, to survive wildfires.

  • A wildfire prevention project, which thinned out 10,000 acres of forest, saved the town of Pollock Pines from the Caldor Fire.

    • In treated areas, the bottom of trees are visibly scorched, but the fire was unable to get into the canopy.

Extreme Heat

  • More than a third of the American population is currently experiencing rapid, above-average rates of temperature increase, with 499 counties already breaching 2.7 degrees of heating.

    • Hotspots of extreme warming have emerged in many of America’s largest cities, and places as diverse as California’s balmy coast to the previously frigid northern reaches of Minnesota.

    • Ventura county in California has heated up more than any other county in the contiguous US, experiencing a 4.75 degree increase in total warming in the period from 1895 to 2021.

    • Higher temperatures are also worsening the risk of wildfires in California.

    • Alaska’s North slope, situated within the rapidly warming Arctic, has heated up by an enormous 6.6 degrees in just the past 50 years.

    • The warmth is also melting frozen soils, known as permafrost, causing buildings to subside and roads to buckle.

  • In its first year, Dallas, Texas city staff said they achieved 93% of their assigned annual goals and began work on half the actions from the 30-year climate plan.

    • The plan addresses eight issues: energy-efficient and climate-resilient buildings, renewable and affordable energy, transportation, waste, water resources, green spaces, food and clean air.

    • Among the completed tasks: a new urban forestry website, the launch of its sustainable procurement program, the installation of air quality monitors and hundreds of new trees planted.

    • City staff will also continue some work from last year, including the installation of solar panel roofs at nearby affordable housing projects, placing non-regulatory air quality monitors across Dallas and several public awareness campaigns.

      • City offices will observe the monitors’ data daily to gain a closer perspective of air-pollution trends in each neighborhood.

    • The city is increasing its focus on food management to minimize its food desert and become a zero-waste community.

    • The city has planted thousands of new trees in Dallas’ underserved communities where areas frequently have little to no tree canopy, and consequently, place residents more at-risk of extreme heat and higher air pollution.

  • Nearly 84% of Texas is now dealing with some level of drought, with 32% in extreme drought conditions.

  • In California, the first part of 2022 has fallen behind 2020 in total precipitation according to the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

New Reports And Data

  • A February 2022 study found that “primary pandemic prevention” should include reduced deforestation and better management of wildlife trade and hunting.

  • A February 20222 study found that urban air pollution affects 2.5 billion people worldwide.

  • A February 20222 study found that a reduction in emissions could preserve almost three weeks of snow cover and below freezing temperatures.


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