Climate Impact Report – 08/09

Quick Facts

2% Insurance

In Kentucky, only 2.3% of households in the 10 counties that suffered devastating floods last month have flood policies.

3 Hottest

Last month ranked among the planet’s top three hottest Julys on record.


An August 2022 study found that 58% of human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change.

Key Facts Of The Day 08/09


  • Kentucky residents struggling to rebuild after devastating flooding face huge financial obstacles because almost nobody in the state has flood insurance.
    • The area hit by the flash floods that began in late July and killed at least 37 people has a large concentration of low-income families.
    • Only 2.3% of households in the 10 counties that suffered devastating floods last month have flood policies.
    • Many Kentucky residents decline to buy flood insurance because they think the premiums are too costly and the risk of being flooded is too remote.
    • Another factor discouraging the purchase of flood coverage is that FEMA flood maps have vastly underestimated the flood risk in eastern Kentucky.
    • Federal disaster aid typically only pays residents just a few thousand dollars and covers only temporary home repairs.
    • The absence of flood insurance and the minimal disaster payments from FEMA are forcing residents to rely on private charity.
  • A 1,000-year flood brought nearly a year’s worth of rain to Death Valley National Park this weekend, shuttering all routes into the site and devastating infrastructure.
    • Unprecedented rainfall inundated the park on Friday, stranding nearly 500 visitors and 500 staff inside the site and cutting off phone lines.
    • More than 600 feet of a water main that serves park residences and maintenance facilities suffered significant damage.


  • As of Monday, there are currently 69 large active wildfires that have burned 1,690,492 across AK, AZ, CA, GA, ID, MT, NE, NV, NM, OR, TX, UT, WA, and WY. As of Monday, 40,319 wildfires have burned 5,846,049 acres across the country.
  • In Alaska, 27 fires have burned 1,055,515 acres as of Monday.
  • In Arizona, 3 fires have burned 3,201 acres as of Monday.
  • In California, 5 fires have burned 91,039 acres as of Monday.
    • The McKinney Fire has burned 60,271 acres and is 40% contained as of Monday.
    • The Oak Fire has burned 19,244 acres and is 94% contained as of Monday.
  • In Georgia, 1 fire has burned 235 acres as of Monday.
  • In Idaho, 5 fires have burned 75,087 acres as of Monday.
  • In Montana, 7 fires have burned 39,220 acres as of Monday.
  • In Nebraska, 1 fire has burned 724 acres as of Monday. 
  • In Nevada, 1 fire has burned 1,966 acres as of Monday.
  • In New Mexico, 1 fire has burned 341,735 acres as of Monday.
    • The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire has burned 341,735 acres and is 98% contained as of Monday.
  • In Oregon, 6 fires have burned 15,988 acres as of Monday.
  • In Texas, 5 fires have burned 6,356 acres as of Monday.
  • In Utah, 1 fire has burned 11,666 acres as of Monday.
  • In Washington, 3 fires have burned 39,898 acres as of Monday.
  • In Wyoming, 2 fires have burned 7,632 acres as of Monday.

Extreme Heat

  • Last month ranked among the planet’s top three hottest Julys on record.
    • Extreme heat toppled monthly records in July across Portugal, Spain, France, and other countries on the European continent, climbing well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in many places.
    • Extreme heat also struck parts of China last month, with “red alert” heat warnings going into effect across much of the Yangtze River Basin.
    • In the U.S., heat advisories went into effect for tens of millions of people across the country during a major heat wave toward the end of July, including the southern Great Plains and Midwest, the mid-South, the East Coast, and New England. Sizzling heat struck the Pacific Northwest shortly afterward.
    • According to NOAA, last month was the third-hottest July on record for the contiguous United States.
  • Extreme heat is making work conditions more dangerous, but industries are fighting against heat safeguards for workers.
    • A growing group of immigrant laborers in South Florida is pushing for a law requiring employers to provide outdoor workers with drinking water, shade, and rest breaks on hot days.
      • Attempts to mandate heat protections have been blocked or weakened following opposition from industry groups representing agriculture, construction, and other business interests.
      • In recent years, a heat illness prevention bill has failed three times in Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature. 
    • In Nevada, where climate change is fueling hotter summers, state data shows workplace heat stress complaints nearly tripled from 2016 to 2021.
      • A heat safety regulation adopted by Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is awaiting final approval from a panel of lawmakers, who have put off a vote for months.
      • The agency is in talks with industry groups “concerned about the burdens on businesses of having to implement regulations.”
  • While California remains in drought, salt water is flowing into key waterways.
    • In dry winters, less freshwater flows down from the mountains into the Sacramento River, which allows saltier water from Pacific Ocean tides to push farther into the state’s main water hub, the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.
      • The Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta supplies two-thirds of the state’s 39 million people and to farms that grow fruits and vegetables for the whole nation.
    • Some planners and farmers use a desalination plant, an artificial rock barrier, or groundwater pumps, but not everyone can afford these methods.
    • Bobby Costa, a farmer, has seen his cucumber yields go down by 25% this year compared to wetter years.
    • Charlie Hamilton hasn’t irrigated his vineyards with water from the Sacramento River since early May.
    • Antioch has only supplied its people with water from the San Joaquin River for 32 days this year, compared to roughly 128 days by this time in a wet year.

New Reports And Data

  • An August 2022 study found that 58% of human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change.
  • An August 2022 study found that dry lightning outbreaks are the leading cause of some of the largest wildfire outbreaks in modern California history.


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