Climate Impact Report – 1/12
Back-to-back atmospheric rivers that battered California in recent weeks have already dropped staggering amounts of rain on the state, left dozens of highways inoperable, and caused at least 18 deaths.
Three more atmospheric river events are expected to hit California in the next ten days.
Oceans hit their warmest levels on record for the fourth consecutive year in 2022.
Key Facts Of The Day 1/12
Storms and Flooding
- Three more atmospheric river events are expected to hit California in the next ten days.
- More substantial rain will return to central California Friday and spread south across much of the state on Saturday.
- Back-to-back atmospheric rivers that battered California in recent weeks have already dropped staggering amounts of rain on the state, left dozens of highways inoperable, and caused at least 18 deaths.
- As of Wednesday night, at least 40 state routes were closed in California.
- In 16 days, parts of California received 50% to 70% of the precipitation they would usually get in a year.
- Isolated areas have recorded more than 90% of their annual precipitation, especially in the mountains near Santa Barbara.
- Monterey County officials ordered residents to flee the low-lying areas of Salinas River, warning that flooding from the rising river on Thursday could have devastating impacts and turn the area into an island, cutting it off from essential services.
- In the Bay Area’s Solano County, an evacuation warning was issued Wednesday for 1,600 people amid fears that Lake Curry could flood downstream.
- Between December 26 and January 10, downtown San Francisco received 13.59 inches of rainfall, Napa received 11.21 inches, and downtown Sacramento received 9.58 inches.
- The recent storms have brought more than 10 feet of snow to portions of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
- As of January 6, 2023, there are currently 0 large active wildfires that have burned 0 acres. As of January 9, 2023, 78 wildfires have burned 549 acres across the country.
- Oceans hit their warmest levels on record for the fourth consecutive year in 2022.
- Previous ocean heat records were broken in 2021, 2020, and 2019, and all of the top six hottest levels have occurred in the last six years.
- Four major basins hit their own regional heat records in 2022, including the North Pacific, North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and Southern Ocean.
- Oceans are also growing more stratified, meaning warm and cold water masses aren’t mixing as easily and are instead getting stuck on top of one another.
- Stratification can make it harder for heat, oxygen, and vital nutrients to be transported throughout the water column. That can damage marine ecosystems and trap heat near the surface of the water, where it can then proceed to warm the atmosphere further.
New Reports and Data
- A January 2023 study found that over 90% of vehicle-owning U.S. households would see reductions in GHGs and transportation energy burden by adopting an EV, but over half of the lowest-income households would still have a high EV energy burden.
- A December 2022 study found that the global loss of pollinators is already causing about 500,000 early deaths a year by reducing the supply of healthy foods.
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