Climate Impact Report – 04/12

Quick Facts

18 states

Expansive storm to threaten at least 18 states with severe weather this week


As of Tuesday, there are currently 14 large active wildfires that have burned 52,066 acres across AR, AZ, KS, LA, NE, NM, OK, and TX

Record snow

On Monday, rare and record-breaking snow fell in Portland, Oregon that left nearly 100,000 people without power

Key Facts Of The Day 4/12

Storms and Flooding

  • Expansive storm to threaten at least 18 states with severe weather this week.

    • The unfolding severe weather outbreak will likely pose a significant threat to lives and property, and it could lead to disruptions in travel and shipping over the central United States.

    • The storms will hit some of the same areas that have been hammered by tornadoes and high winds on a weekly basis over the past month and will visit some Midwestern areas that have not yet experienced violent thunderstorms this spring.

    • Severe weather began impacting Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri on Monday night as tornadoes, hail and gusty winds were all reported.

    • Severe weather is anticipated from Tuesday afternoon to Tuesday night from eastern Texas and much of Louisiana, northward to southern Minnesota and part of southwestern Wisconsin.

    • A potentially historic storm is setting up Tuesday across the midsection of the U.S., with the possibility of strong tornadoes and baseball-sized hail in the lower Plains and Mississippi Valley, along with up to 3 feet of snow in the northern Plains.

    • On Wednesday, the expansive zone of severe thunderstorms will begin to push eastward and extend from northeastern Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas to Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and southern Michigan.

  • On Monday, rare and record-breaking snow fell in Portland, Oregon.

    • One to 3 inches of snow fell around the city.

    • The late-season snowstorm has left nearly 100,000 people without power, including some that experienced sporadic shutoffs.

    • The snow and gusty winds brought down trees and power lines across the greater Portland area, triggering a challenging morning commute for many and prompting school districts to delay or cancel classes.

  • As climate change intensifies, septic failures are emerging as an issue for local governments.

    • About 20% of U.S. households rely on septic. Many systems are clustered in coastal areas that are experiencing relative sea-level rise.

      • Of the 120,000 in Miami-Dade County, more than half of them fail to work properly at some point during the year, helping to fuel deadly algae blooms in Biscayne Bay.

    • Sea level rise, changing water tables, precipitation changes and increased temperature can cause systems to fail.

    • Septic systems work by burying a tank that collects wastewater from sinks, toilets, showers and washing machines, holding the solids while the liquid percolates through a few feet of filtering soil, where microbes and other biological processes remove harmful bacteria.

      • When that doesn’t happen, bacteria and parasites from human waste flow into drinking water supplies or recreational waters, creating a public health problem.


  • As of Tuesday, there are currently 14 large active wildfires that have burned 52,066 acres across  AR, AZ, KS, LA, NE, NM, OK, and TX. As of Tuesday, 18,085 wildfires have burned 777,406 acres across the country.

  • On Monday, strong spring winds fueled wildfires burning around New Mexico on Monday, prompting evacuations south of Albuquerque where authorities said some structures have burned and more are threatened.

  • Pacific Gas & Electric, the nation’s largest utility, has agreed to pay more than $55 million to avoid criminal prosecution for two major wildfires sparked by its aging Northern California power lines and submit to five years of oversight in an attempt to prevent more deadly blazes.

    • The company didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement with prosecutors in six counties ravaged by last year’s Dixie Fire and the 2019 Kincade Fire.

Extreme Heat

  • Wildfires, natural disasters, rising heat can lead to poor health outcomes for Pregnant women and their babies.

    • Obstetricians are now tailoring their medical advice to include climate change impacts to prepare their patients.

  • The Biden administration announced $46 million in climate funding for Indigenous communities after finding that the near-total loss of historical lands leaves Indigenous people in the U.S. more vulnerable to climate change.

    • Climate change’s disproportionate impact, including reduced access to traditional foods, decreased water quality and exposure to health hazards, severely exacerbates socioeconomic inequities.

    • The funding will be available for efforts that include initiatives that address and strengthen climate resilience and adaptation, ocean and coastal management, and community-driven relocation.

  • Donors pledge $41 million to a 6 year project that monitors thawing Arctic permafrost which creates greenhouse gas emissions.

    • As rapid warming in the region has caused more of the topmost frozen layer to thaw, organic matter has been decomposing and emitting carbon dioxide and methane.

    • Melting permafrost has also resulted in greater erosion, leading to land collapse and flooding.

    • The project will also develop policies to help mitigate the global impact of permafrost emissions and, locally in Alaska, assist Native communities that are struggling with thawing ground and problems that arise from it.

New Reports And Data

  • An April 2022 study found that Asian and Hispanic communities experience significantly more air pollution from economic activity compared to predominantly white neighborhoods across the state of California.

  • An April 2022 study found that around 180,000 avoidable deaths over 14 years in fast-growing tropical cities were caused by a rapid rise in emerging air pollution.

  • An April 2022 study found that the critical benefits of snowpack for winter wheat are diminishing.


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