Climate Impact Report – 11/15

Quick Facts


and more utility customers were without power Saturday in New Jersey

below 20%

is the reported capacity for Lake Mendocino, which could be the first major reservoir in modern times to go dry


acres across CA and MT have burned from 3 large active wildfires

Key Facts Of The Day 11/15


  • More than 23,000 utility customers were without power Saturday in New Jersey after forecasters warned of scattered showers and strong thunderstorms around the state.

  • Bay Head, New Jersey is studying options to prevent, or at least reduce, incidents of “sunny day” flooding caused by tides and rising sea levels, as well as major storm-related floods.

  • In Lake Charles, Louisiana, an apartment complex that was rebuilding after Hurricane Laura was damaged by last month’s tornado.

  • In the Great Lakes Region, researchers have developed an app to reduce flooding in some parts of stormwater and sanitary sewer systems by identifying areas that aren’t full to redirect the water.

  • Texas faces another winter with an underpowered electric grid.

    • The Texas Public Utility Commission is still working on creating a model for revamping its regulations that govern the state’s electricity market, but no final rule has yet been proposed.

  • Michigan utilities are struggling to provide reliable energy to customers as storms become more frequent and severe due to climate change.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 3 large active wildfires that have burned 106,656 acres across CA and MT.

  • Over the past decade millions of people moved to western forest towns for affordable housing, but there is also a big wildfire threat.

    • Between 2000 and 2013, 3/4 of homes destroyed by wildfires in California were in the wildland-urban interface.

  • Although Alaska was mostly spared from wildfires this year, scientists are concerned by evidence that the frequency and intensity of burning in the state have increased in recent decades.

    • Carbon released by fires in the high-north Boreal forests could speed up climate change.

  • The eastern area of Texas will be prone to more drought and wildfire, and the change could come on quickly as the climate gets drier from west to east.

Extreme Heat

  • State officials warn that Lake Mendocino, which remains at less than 20% capacity, could be the first major reservoir in modern times to go dry.

    • Tens of thousands of people between Healdsburg and the Ukiah Valley, in the upper Russian River watershed, rely on the reservoir.

    • Households have already been forced to cut back as much as 50%, while grape growers have sometimes gotten no water at all.

    • Nearby grape growers have reported losses, generally between 20% and 60%

  • As cities grow and drought conditions continue, some cities are considering wastewater recycling.

    • Though there are still only about two dozen communities in the U.S. using some form of recycled water for drinking, that number is projected to more than double in the next 15 years.

  • As extreme heat continues, the California legislature has a new proposal to start ranking heat waves with categories based on heat intensity and health impacts.

    • It is intended to raise awareness of the deadly effects of extreme heat events, which experts say kill more people than any other climate-driven hazard and are increasing in frequency and intensity as the planet warms.

    • The announcement comes after a Times investigation revealed that heat probably caused about 3,900 deaths in California over the previous decade.

  • While effective heat management strategies exist, they are not equally available across racial groups, income levels, and neighborhoods due to a variety of historical and contemporary factors.

New Reports And Data

  • A November 2021 study found that due to warming of the Mediterranean Sea, marine species are migrating tens of meters deeper into cooler waters to survive.

  • A November 2021 study found a way to identify the origin of lead contamination in urban soils and assess the risk it poses to children who inhale or ingest contaminated dirt or dust through isotope-based tests.

  • A November 2021 study found that Amazon Rainforest birds’ bodies transform due to climate change.


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