Climate Impact Report – 08/11

Quick Facts

4x Faster

Over the past four decades, the Arctic region has been heating up four times faster than the global average.

72% Chance

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center sees a 72% chance of La Niña between November and January, bolstering chances of more storms as the Atlantic hurricane season reaches its peak.

Over 1/2

More than half the West is in “exceptional, “extreme,” or “severe” drought conditions.

Key Facts Of The Day 08/12

Hurricanes

  • The U.S. Climate Prediction Center sees a 72% chance of La Niña between November and January, bolstering chances of more storms as the Atlantic hurricane season reaches its peak.
    • Atlantic hurricanes pose a significant risk to orange juice production in Florida and gas and oil extraction and refining in the Gulf Coast region. 
  • For the second time in two weeks, flash flooding in Las Vegas, Nevada, covered the iconic Strip and heavy downpours sent rain through casino roofs.
  • On Wednesday, Flagstaff, Arizona residents, impacted by severe post-fire flooding, wrote a letter to local officials to expand how they address immediate needs in the affected neighborhoods.
    • The needs include topics from infrastructural improvements to expert guidance as repeated flooding continues to hammer the area. 
    • City and county officials report that their immediate efforts are at a maximum and that long-term improvements are being pursued.
  • Gov. Andy Beshear called out the Federal Emergency Management Agency for denying many requests for assistance in flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky.
    • The number of people who died due to the flood has risen to 39.
    • The governor criticized the application process, saying flood victims were being denied assistance when lacking the necessary documents.

Wildfires

  • As of Friday, there are currently 67 large active wildfires that have burned 1,696,851 across AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NE, NV, NM, NC, OR, TX, UT, WA, and WY. As of Friday, 41,456 wildfires have burned 5,902,571 acres across the country.
  • In Alaska, 28 fires have burned 1,064,172 acres as of Friday.
  • In Arizona, 3 fires have burned 3,211 acres as of Friday.
  • In California, 4 fires have burned 100,630 acres as of Friday.
    • The McKinney Fire has burned 60,389 acres and is 80% contained as of Friday.
    • The Oak Fire has burned 19,244 acres and is 98% contained as of Friday.
  • In Hawaii, 1 fire has burned 25,000 acres as of Friday.
  • In Idaho, 7 fires have burned 89,638 acres as of Friday.
  • In Montana, 6 fires have burned 27,892 acres as of Friday.
  • In Nevada, 1 fire has burned 1,966 acres as of Friday.
  • In New Mexico, 1 fire has burned 341,735 acres as of Friday.
    • The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire has burned 341,735 acres and is 98% contained as of Friday.
  • In North Carolina, 1 fire has burned 2,000 acres as of Friday.
  • In Oregon, 4 fires have burned 5,301 acres as of Friday.
  • In Texas, 4 fires have burned 2,451 acres as of Friday.
  • In Utah, 1 fire has burned 11,702 acres as of Friday.
  • In Washington, 2 fires have burned 12,776 acres as of Friday.
  • In Wyoming, 2 fires have burned 7,632 acres as of Friday.

Extreme Heat

  • Over the past four decades, the Arctic region has been heating up four times faster than the global average. 
    • Some parts of the region, notably the Barents Sea north of Norway and Russia, are warming up to seven times faster.
    • One result of rapid Arctic warming is faster melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which increases sea-level rise.
    • By altering the temperature difference between the North Pole and the Equator, the warming Arctic appears to have affected storm tracks and wind speed in North America.
    • The Arctic is heating more rapidly in large part because of a feedback loop in which warming melts sea ice in the region, which exposes more of the Arctic Ocean to sunlight and leads to more warming, which in turn leads to even more melting and warming. 
  • More than half the West is in “exceptional, “extreme,” or “severe” drought conditions.
    • Southern California residents have been asked to reduce their water use by 20%.
      • California is predicted to lose 10% of its water supply by 2040.
    • The drought has a 75% chance of lasting through 2030.
    • Climate change is to blame for approximately 42 percent of the drought since 2000. 
    • Lake Mead levels have generally been declining since 2000 and have reached their lowest point in 2022.
    • Beginning in January, southern Nevada’s water allocation` was cut by about 7 billion gallons, which the government of Las Vegas describes as equivalent to the water needs of 45,000 homes.
    • As of Tuesday, the Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen its second-longest stretch, 67 consecutive days without measurable precipitation.
  • An analysis of nine North American tree species revealed that a slight temperature increase of 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit alone, combined with reduced rainfall, would increase mortality among the trees and significantly restrict growth.

New Reports And Data

  • An August 2022 study found that the Arctic region has been heating up four times faster over the past four decades than the global average. 
  • An August 2022 study found that a slight temperature increase of 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit alone – or combined with reduced rainfall – would increase tree mortality and significantly restrict growth.

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