Climate Impact Report – 05/13
A new report by the U.N. found that the frequency and duration of droughts has risen 29% since 2000 and will continue to increase due to human-caused climate change.
The U.N. desertification agency estimates that roughly one third of the world’s population — 2.3 billion people — is already facing water scarcity, with that number expected to double by 2050.
Crop insurance costs climb as climate change deepens and increases flood risks. The Environmental Working Group said insurance subsidies for farmers neared $40 billion from 2001 to 2020 in the Mississippi River region.
Key Facts Of The Day 5/13
Storms and Flooding
- Early Thursday evening, a destructive line of thunderstorms, unleashed winds of 80 to 100 mph through eastern South Dakota and northeast Nebraska.
- On Thursday, for the third time in four days, Minneapolis found itself under a Level 3 out of 5 “enhanced” storm threat.
- Tens of thousands lost power as violent storms unleashed 70 mph to 80 mph winds, hail and a few tornadoes in the region.
- Crop insurance costs climb as climate change deepens and increases flood risks.
- The Environmental Working Group said insurance subsidies for farmers neared $40 billion from 2001 to 2020 in the Mississippi River region.
- A new study found that smog from factories and cars has led to more storms in the Atlantic Ocean, but fewer in the Pacific.
- Decreases in aerosols over Europe and the U.S. have contributed to significant decreases in tropical cyclones over the Southern Hemisphere as well as increases in tropical cyclones over the North Atlantic.
- Increases in aerosols in South and East Asia have exerted substantial decreases in tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific.
- As of Friday, there are currently 9 large active wildfires that have burned 352,468 across AZ, FL, NC, NM, and SC. As of Friday, 24,302 wildfires have burned 1,286,250 acres across the country.
- As of Friday, the Tunnel Fire in Arizona has burned 19,075 and is 98% contained.
- As of Friday, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire in New Mexico has burned 259,810 acres and is 30% contained.
- The largest wildfire in the U.S. was spreading toward mountain resort towns in northern New Mexico, prompting officials to issue another set of warnings for more people to evacuate.
- The fire is now more than 405 square miles, an area bigger than the city of Dallas, Texas.
- Residents in four counties east and northeast of Santa Fe remained under a variety of evacuation orders and alerts.
- The fire has burned through mostly rural areas that include a mix of scattered ranch homes, historic Hispanic villages that date back centuries and high-dollar summer cabins.
- As of Thursday, the Coastal Fire in California has burned 200 acres and is 15% contained.
- Wind-driven flames have torn through vegetation that is extraordinarily dry from years-long drought exacerbated by climate change.
- The Coastal Fire burned at least 20 homes.
- Several streets were ordered to evacuate.
- Southern California Edison advised state utility regulators that unspecified electrical “circuit activity” occurred around the time the wildfire erupted in the coastal community.
- Two firefighters were hospitalized but no other injuries were reported.
- California has spent nearly $1.46 billion in cap-and-trade revenues to fill holes in fire agency budgets and the total is expected to soon hit $1.9 billion.
- On Wednesday, Chicago, Illinois hit 90 degrees for the first time this year, breaking a record for the date.
- On Wednesday, multiple cities set record high temperatures for the date:
- Imperial, Nebraska and Hill City, Kansas: 97
- Omaha, Nebraska: 96
- Greenwood, Mississippi, and Springfield and Lincoln, Illinois: 94
- Memphis, Tennessee: 92
- Madison, Wisconsin, Nashville , Tennessee, and Colorado Springs, Colorado: 91
- South Bend, Indiana, Denver, Colorado, and Jackson, Tennessee: 90
- Rochester, Minnesota, and La Crosse, Wisconsin: 88
- Milwaukee, Wisonsin: 86
- 91% of Great Barrier Reef coral surveyed this year was bleached in the fourth such mass event in seven years.
- A new report by the U.N. found that the frequency and duration of droughts has risen 29% since 2000 and will continue to increase due to human-caused climate change.
- Droughts represent 15% of natural disasters but take the greatest human toll — causing 650,000 deaths from 1970 to 2019.
- From 1998 to 2017, meanwhile, droughts caused global economic losses equivalent to about $124 billion.
- The U.N. desertification agency estimates that roughly one third of the world’s population — 2.3 billion people — is already facing water scarcity, with that number expected to double by 2050.
- The report noted that Africa is the hardest hit continent, with the Americas, India and Australia also highlighted as areas of particular current and future concern.
- The agency’s lead scientist Barron Orr told the Associated Press that the world needs to be more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to dealing with drought-related disasters.
- The report suggests that with the right adaptation measures, water scarcity across the globe can be limited.
- Smarter agricultural techniques which use less water while producing more food, drought action plans and greater investment in soil health, new technologies and early warning systems can all help curtail food and water shortages.
New Reports And Data
- A May 2022 study found that human-induced climate change made the extreme rainfall that triggered deadly floods in South Africa in April heavier and twice as likely to happen.
- A May 2022 study found that smog from factories and cars has led to more storms in the Atlantic Ocean, but fewer in the Pacific.
- A May 2022 report found that the frequency and duration of droughts will continue to increase due to human-caused climate change.
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