Climate Impact Report – 02/11

Quick Facts


people have remained without heat and electricity in Shelby County, Tennessee for 9 days as of Friday


wildfires have burned 54,170 acres across the country as of Friday

New study

found that lower-income countries are already 40% more likely to experience heat waves than those with higher incomes

Key Facts Of The Day 2/11

Storms and Flooding

  • The National Weather Service has released its first of three Flood Potential Outlooks for the upcoming spring.

    • The NWS is forecasting a near normal to below normal flood risk across the Upper Mississippi River and its tributaries this spring. Snowpack is generally below average for the basin which is a major factor in the lower flood risk.

    • In the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas, the Cedar and Iowa Rivers are likely to see below-normal flooding.

  • As of Friday, it’s day 9 for 12,000 people who remain without heat and electricity in Shelby County, Tennessee.

    • Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) is aiming to restore most customers’ power by midnight Friday, but it’s possible that some customers’ power won’t be restored until Saturday.

    • MLGW says 90 contract crews are in Memphis from Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia to assist with repairs.

  • Crews are working to repair several potholes along interstates and state highways in Tennessee caused by winter storms.


  • As of Friday, 3,120 wildfires have burned 54,170 acres across the country.

  • Climate change is intensifying wildfires and extreme wildfire behavior in California.

    • Eighteen of the top 20 largest wildfires in state history have occurred in the past 20 years.

  • The Emerald Fire in Laguna Beach, California was fueled by winds and high temperatures.

    • Residents in North Laguna, Emerald Bay and Irvine Cove were forced to evacuate as thick clouds of smoke covered the beachside community.

    • Chief of the Orange County Fire Authority said there were no structures lost, no reports of firefighter injury or civilian injury.

    • The chief noted that while the fire is “not spreading rapidly at this time,” residents needed to remain patient as the unusual temperatures and conditions continue this week.

  • On Thursday afternoon, the L.A. County Fire Department tweeted that it was battling two new brush fires.

    • One of the blazes, the Sycamore Fire, was reportedly burning two homes and threatening more.

    • More than 200 firefighters were sent to the scene both in the air and on the ground.

Extreme Heat

  • Numerous locations in Southern California are expected to flirt with record highs Thursday near 90 degrees.

  • Heat advisories are in effect for Orange County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire and Deserts in California.

  • Three of the five driest Januarys in California history have occurred in the past 10 years.

    • Should the lack of precipitation continue through February, which seems probable, the likelihood of another year of severe drought will substantially increase.

    • This increases the risk of a devastating wildfire season come the warmer and drier months.

  • After a historic heat wave killed at least 220 people in Oregon and Washington, lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest are eyeing several emergency heat relief bills aimed at helping vulnerable people.

    • Most people who passed away had no access to lifesaving cooling devices such as air conditioning or heating and cooling pumps in their homes.

    • Some residents who did have cooling devices opted not to use them because they were worried about the additional cost.

    • The measures would provide millions in funding for cooling systems and weather shelters during future extreme weather events.

      • The first proposed bill, which has received bipartisan support, would direct $5 million to the Oregon Health Authority to create an emergency distribution program that would deliver air conditioners and air filters to low-income families.

      • It would also allocate $10 million to create an incentive program to make it easier for vulnerable households to purchase energy-efficient heat pump cooling systems.

      • The bill also directs the Oregon Public Utility Commission to find ways of “alleviating spikes” in energy bills during extreme weather events.

      • The second heat relief bill would remove barriers for renters to install portable air conditioning units in their apartments and would require cooling systems in newly constructed rental units.

      • The bill would also allocate $2 million for local and tribal governments to create extreme weather relief centers.

    • An initial scientific analysis by World Weather Attribution found that the deadly heat wave would have been virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.

New Reports And Data

  • A February 2022 study found concrete evidence that more than 85% of the grouper and snapper studied are overfished as a direct result of increasing human demand for seafood.

  • A February 2022 study found that human exposure to a potentially harmful pesticide has been rising as agricultural use of the chemical has increased.

  • A February 2022 study found that African Heritage Sites are threatened by coastal flooding and erosion as sea-level rise accelerates.

  • A January 2022 study found that lower-income countries are already 40% more likely to experience heat waves than those with higher incomes, and by 2100 people in the lowest-income quarter will experience 23 more days of heat waves each year than those in the highest.


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