Climate Impact Report – 8/12

Quick Facts


large wildfires that have burned 2,439,750 acres across AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NE, NM, NV, SD, UT, WA and WY.


million people in 34 states across the country were under excessive-heat warnings or heat advisories.


year old high school football player died in Nebraska on Wednesday from heat-related causes, where the temperature reached 91 degrees. At least four high school football players have died in less than a month during practice or conditioning sessions. Key Facts Of The Day 8/12

Facts Of The Day 8/12

Extreme Heat

  • As of Thursday morning, almost 200 million people in 34 states across the country were under excessive heat warnings or heat advisories.

  • Two high school basketball coaches in Georgia have been charged with murder after a student died doing drills on August 13th, 2019, when temperatures reached in the high 90s.

  • A 16-year-old high school football player died in Nebraska on Wednesday from heat-related causes, where the temperature reached 91 degrees.

  • Washington officials expect at least some of the state’s farmers to go bankrupt due to the drought, with one farmer estimating that her wheat crop this year is half of normal and of poor quality.

  • A Virginia cattle rancher began feeding his livestock hay in late July because the cows had already eaten the pasture, which was already depleted due to the drought.

  • One Colorado cattle rancher has sold over 100 of his herd due to the drought, and would not be available for sale at Walmart stores nationwide.

  • Water cuts to Arizona farmers and ranchers have led one farmer to decide not to plant corn for cattle feed next year citing profitability after already leaving 400 acres of land unplanted this year to cut down on water use.

  • Colorado’s Interstate 70, which is a vital interstate highway, may reopen this weekend after being blocked by mud and debris from a mudslide in a wildfire burn scar area.

  • Crop season will be shortened by one month this year in the Treasure Valley region of Idaho after a lack of spring rain has meant there was less runoff into reservoirs.

  • Minnesota trees that have been stressed by the severe drought may lead to the fall foliage appearing earlier this year.

  • Despite receiving normal snow amounts last year, Idaho could see drought for years.

  • Extreme heat can hinder economic growth as workers may be less productive when it’s hotter outside.

  • Florida officials report that red tide continues to be detected in Manatee, Sarasota, and Pinellas counties.

  • The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has increased to a size that affects about half of the Louisiana coast which can no longer support shrimp and will drive up prices.

  • Climate change could increase red tide blooms by causing more intense rainfalls that cause runoffs and more severe droughts will lead to saltier bodies of water that would be more conducive to red tide growth.

  • Power outages are an increasing concern among people who rely on electricity for home medical devices.

    • When California utility provider PG&E decided to cut power to about 800,000 customers to prevent wildfires in 2019, it acknowledged that 29,819 people with medical needs would be affected and advised them to buy backup generators.


  • There are currently 104 large wildfires that have burned 2,439,750 acres across AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NE, NM, NV, SD, UT, WA, and WY.

  • 8 new large fires were reported across Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, and Utah, and 6 large fires were reported contained on Wednesday.

  • Federal wildland firefighters could see their base salaries rise by up to $20,000 per year.

  • Wildfires are delaying the start of the school year for some California schools.

  • One new fire sparked in Idaho on Wednesday – the Bedrock Fire burned 1,200 acres and was 0% contained.

  • One new fire sparked in Montana on Wednesday – the Lame Deer Fire burned 4,663 acres and was 0% contained. Three fires were contained – the Morgan – Dawson Fire burned 500 acres, the Pirogue Fire burned 400 acres and the Thirteen Mile Fire burned 1,250 acres.

  • One fire was contained in Oregon on Wednesday – the Elbow Creek Fire burned 22,960 acres.

  • In Oregon, The Bootleg Fire burned 413,717 acres and was 98% contained as of Wednesday afternoon. The Bootleg Fire did less damage in the Sycan Marsh Preserve and lack Hills Ecosystem Restoration Project areas where local Klamath Tribes had  performed fire management activities.


  • As of Thursday morning, Fred became a poorly organized tropical depression after passing over the island of Hispaniola and was located about 80 miles northeast of Guantanamo, Cuba with maximum winds of 35 MPH.

    • Fred could regain its strength to become a tropical storm or even hurricane and threaten landfalls in Florida with the first landfall on the Florida Keys on Saturday and another by northern Florida by early next week.

    • Haiti, the southeastern Bahamas, and parts of Cuba all remained under a tropical storm watch as of Thursday morning as Fred was moving west-northwest at 16 MPH.

    • Although Fred could weaken completely by Friday, it could also regain strength as it passes near the northern coast of Cuba on Friday.

    • South Florida and the Florida Keys may see showers and thunderstorms associated with Fred as soon as Friday afternoon and evening.

    • Fred will bring heavy rains and gusty winds across Florida this weekend and into the southeastern United States mainland later in the weekend and into early next week.

    • If Fred is slow to move through the Southeastern states, parts of northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas could see 4-8 inches of rain which could cause flooding in inland and urban areas as well as in rivers and streams.

  • From Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning,  Southeastern Michigan was hammered by multiple rounds of storms.

    • The storms brought down trees, flooded roadways, and caused at least 500,000 people in the region to lose power as of Thursday morning.

    • Multiple roads and freeways in the Metro Detroit area were flooded after the storms caused flooding.

    • Michigan’s Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Monroe counties were under a severe thunderstorm alert until at least 8:15 AM local time, and northern Wayne County and southern Macomb and Oakland counties were under a flash flood warning until 9 AM local time.

    • Wind gusts of 75 MPH were reported at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township and Lake St. Clair Metropark registered winds at 54 MPH.

Climate Studies

  • An August 2021 study found that warming temperatures affected the growth of belemnites, which could have implications for considering the impacts of climate change on marine organisms.

  • An August 2021 study found that Canadian Arctic marine bacteria are capable of biodegrading oil and diesel fuel and may play a part in Arctic oil spills.

  • An August 2021 study found researchers were able to develop a method to clean up water pollution using sunlight.


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