Climate Impact Report – 03/21

Quick Facts

Hot poles

Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous freakish extreme heat

Low snow

the year’s historically dry start in California has resulted in a snowpack more than 60% below average

TX Fire

As of Sunday, the Eastland Complex Fire in Texas has burned more than 54,015 acres and is 30% contained

Key Facts Of The Day 3/21

Storms and Flooding

  • A strong storm system capable of producing large hail, isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and flooding, was expected to begin Monday afternoon in Texas and then move over Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday.

    • As of Monday morning, several areas in the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley were under an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms.

    • About 13 million people across central and eastern Texas were under an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms on Monday, including the cities of Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.

    • From Monday evening through Tuesday morning, portions of Texas could see up to four inches of rain, with isolated higher amounts along with possible street flooding.

    • As the storms push eastward on Tuesday, more than two million people in portions of Louisiana and Mississippi will be under a moderate risk of severe weather.

    • The main threat on Tuesday will be tornadoes and damaging winds before and after the storm.

    • Areas in Mississippi could see winds as strong as 70 MPH and hail the size of golf balls.

    • Parts of the East Coast will be under a marginal and slight risk for severe weather beginning Wednesday.

  • Last week’s powerful storms caused injuries and damage in the Southeast.

    • In Escambia County, Alabama, six people from a mobile home park have been treated at a hospital for injuries sustained during a possible tornado.

    • Nine mobile homes were damaged, including one which completely flipped over when a storm rolled through the area.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 21 large active wildfires that have burned 129,168 acres across CA, FL, KS, MO, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX. As of Friday, 12,514 wildfires have burned 320,144 acres across the country.

  • As of Sunday,  the Eastland Complex blaze burned more than 54,015 acres and is 30% contained in Texas.

    • At least four blazes that began last week make up the complex.

    • The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning “for elevated to critical fire weather conditions” in both North and Central Texas on Sunday. Red flag warnings are issued by the Weather Service when warm temperatures, very low humidities and strong winds combine to raise the risk of fire.

    • As tens of thousands of acres burn in multiple Texas locations, the smoke from those wildfires moved into the Houston area Friday morning, causing hazy conditions, poor air quality, and a burning odor throughout the region.

    • The fire consumed multiple structures in Ranger, Texas, overnight, including the police department building and a 100-year-old church there.

    • Estimates of the number of homes destroyed ranged from more than 50 to nearly 90.

    • Nearly 500 homes were evacuated in central Texas.

    • A deputy with the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office, Barbara Fenley, died while helping people escape.

    • Two firefighters were injured fighting a blaze on Sunday.

    • Gov. Greg Abbott signed a disaster declaration on Friday that would allow the state to better help 11 counties affected by the fire.

    • Smoke from the fire can lead to health problems, including burning eyes and chronic heart and lung disease.

    • Carbon, Texas was among the communities hit the hardest by wildfires. On Saturday, Carbon residents were left without water or power.

      • One resident was only able to save his two dogs from his home because the smoke was so dense you couldn’t see in front of you. He later found that his home was leveled to the ground.

      • Jequita Grissom returned to her home on Main Street Friday morning to find it completely destroyed. In 2006, she lost her first home in another big fire in Carbon.

Extreme Heat

  • U.N. secretary general António Guterres says the global climate target ‘is on life support.’

    • The head of the United Nations on Monday warned that the world is “sleepwalking to climate catastrophe,” as the ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a lack of political willpower undermine humanity’s efforts to slow the warming of the planet.

    • To have a chance of avoiding global warming’s most ruinous impacts, the world must cut greenhouse gas pollution nearly in half by 2030 and erase its carbon footprint entirely by mid-century.

    • The world has already warmed more than 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, with few signs of slowing.

    • In the United States, where President Biden has pledged to cut the nation’s emissions at least in half by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions surged last year.

    • Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions could swallow small island nations, raise sea levels several feet, fuel more intense wildfires and hurricanes, and exacerbate droughts, heat waves, hunger and flooding.

  • Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous freakish extreme heat with parts of Antarctica more than 70 degrees warmer than average and areas of the Arctic more than 50 degrees warmer than average.

  • The West’s megadrought is impacting California’s farming industry.

    • A survey this month found that the year’s historically dry start has resulted in a snowpack more than 60% below average.

    • Not a single major reservoir is filled to its average for this time of year.

    • The federal Central Valley Project, the vast Depression-era system of pumps, aqueducts and reservoirs that provides much of this region’s surface water, declared a second straight year of no water deliveries.

      • Farmers across the valley must rely on depleted groundwater supplies and what they have been able to store.

    •  On Friday, given the withering recent weather, state water officials cut deliveries to 5%.

    • California’s Central Valley, which includes the San Joaquin, produces around 8% of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, dairy products and other food.

      • But the scarcity of water and the now-exorbitant price for it has prompted many farmers to leave large tracts of land fallow, an alarming trend that is accelerating with each dry year.

      • According to a UC Merced study conducted for the state, California farmers left nearly 400,000 acres of agricultural land unplanted last year due to a lack of water. The result was a direct economic cost to farmers of $1.1 billion and the loss of nearly 9,000 agricultural jobs.

New Reports And Data

  • A March 2022 study found that U.S. cities will lose over 1.4 million street trees to insects by 2050.

  • A March 2022 study found that brown carbon released by burning biomass in the northern hemisphere is accelerating warming in the Arctic and could lead to even more wildfires in the future.


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