Climate Impact Report – 12/02

Quick Facts


and more toxic sites in California are at risk of flooding from sea level rise

at least 13

wildfires in the past dozen years have been linked to illegal marijuana farms in California’s national forests


acres across AL, CA, and MT have been burned due to 4 active wildfires as of Friday

Key Facts Of The Day 12/2


  • As of Tuesday, there is an active storm track that will be cutting across Michigan and southern Canada over the next 10 days.

    • Some of these storm systems will bring wintry precipitation to Michigan.

    • Despite a busy storm track, snow may remain scarce in big cities along the East Coast.

  • More than 400 toxic sites in California are at risk of flooding from sea level rise.

    • Oxnard, California has three power plants on its coast, a toxic waste site, two naval bases, unknown military dumps and a smog-spewing port that with one flood could unleash a flow of industrial chemicals and overwhelm this working-class, mostly Latino community.

    • Across California, high surf is already flooding homes. Major roads, utility lines and other critical infrastructure are dangling ever closer to the sea.

  • The Smithsonian Institution warned that increased flooding on the National Mall threatened to outpace the Smithsonian’s ability to defend those museums and their priceless contents.

    • Museum workers have experimented with a series of defenses, including flood barriers outside of windows and beneath doors, electronic water alarms throughout the building and buckets full of an absorbent cat litter that can be rushed to the site of a flood.

    • Longer-term solutions, including flood gates around the building and moving items to a new storage facility in suburban Maryland, are years away.

  • Months after Hurricane Ida, communities in Louisiana deal with the aftermath.

    • After Hurricane Ida destroyed 1 in 4 Grand Isle buildings, officials urged property owners to seek FEMA help to demolish damaged buildings.

    • Displaced Hurricane Ida victims said relocation to new hotels has been chaotic.

    • Hurricane Ida recovery could take years for Louisiana bayou communities.


  • As of Friday, there are currently 4 large active wildfires that have burned 90,810 acres across AL, CA, and MT. As of Friday, 52,729 wildfires have burned 6,631,430 acres across the country.

    • As of Friday, the KNP Complex fire burned 88,307 acres and was 80% contained.

  • Dry weather conditions fuel concerns for wildfires in Southwest Virginia and have led to burn bans in Danville and Pittsylvania County.

  • Illegal marijuana farms in California’s national forests pose wildfire risks, use scarce water resources, and poison wildlife.

    • At least 13 wildfires in the past dozen years have been linked to grows.

    • In the past two years alone, grow operations in California have rerouted millions of gallons of water, caused a 125,000-acre wildfire in Big Sur and helped add at least one species to the endangered list.

    • Because marijuana cultivators live at their grow sites for months at a time, they introduce hazards like cigarettes, open-flame stoves and wood fires to highly combustible forestland.

Extreme Heat

  • California moves toward launching a heat wave ranking system.

    • In January, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and other delegates will formally introduce legislation to rate and name heat waves in Los Angeles, which could help communities better prepare and reduce deaths.

  • California Gov. Newsom may impose mandatory water conservation rules next year.

  • Bakersfield, California’s two largest water providers will soon implement new restrictions to head off the potentially dire impacts of an extended drought.

  • As California experiences another year of drought, the effects on California’s largest-in-the-nation agricultural industry are profound and perhaps permanent.

    • State and federal water agencies have cut deliveries to some farmers to zero.

    • Farmers are suspending cultivation of some fields or ripping up orchards for lack of water, drilling new wells to tap into diminishing aquifers, or buying water from those who have it.

    • These have economic impacts by driving some farmers, particularly small family operations, out of business altogether, accelerating the shift to large-scale agribusiness corporations with the financial resources to cope, and changing the kinds of crops that can be profitably grown.

  • Arizona, California, Nevada agree to a new Colorado River agreement to conserve more water.

    • The reduction would be double what was agreed on in the 2019 drought contingency plan.

    • Changes would begin in 2022 and last until 2026, if necessary.

    • The primary mechanism for reducing usage would be mustering funds to pay water users such as farmers, tribes and water authorities to further reduce their usage.

  • The Sierra Nevada snowpack, a major source of water for California, could largely disappear in 25 years if global warming from human-caused climate change continues unchecked.

New Reports And Data

  • A November 2021 study found that the U.S. is the top contributor to plastic waste with 42 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2016, almost twice as much as China, and more than the entire European Union combined.

  • A November 2021 study found that steam disinfection of baby bottle nipples exposes babies and the environment to micro- and nano plastic particles.

  • A November 2021 study found a link between increasing air pollution to the rise of a type of lung cancer.


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