Climate Impact Report – 8/20

Quick Facts


large wildfires that have burned 2,542,132 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA and WY.


increase of deaths from high temperatures globally between 1980 and 2016 and a 31% increase of deaths from excessive cold since 1990.


acres burned by The Caldor Fire in California and was 0% contained as of today.

Facts Of The Day 8/20

Extreme Heat

  • Extreme temperatures have been linked to a 74% increase of deaths from high temperatures globally between 1980 and 2016 and a 31% increase of deaths from excessive cold since 1990.

  • Doctors in Texas have urged high school athletes to use caution when exercising in extreme heat.

  • Hillstown, New York farmers and ranchers have had to install fans on their farms for their cows and hose down their sheep to help the animals regulate their temperature due to excessive heat.

  • As Greeley, Colorado’s population grew by 30% from 2010 to 2020, one challenge has been water accessibility, leading the city council to approve a deal to acquire an aquifer that will provide 1.2 million acre-feet of water.

  • As of Thursday, California utility provider PG&E had restored power to all affected customers in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties from Tuesday’s shut-off with about 1,400 customers in Lake County who were still without power.

  • Bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states are concerned the ongoing drought will affect their operations for next year, citing low farm loan demand as the greatest challenge.

  • The drought that continues to engulf the Western United States will continue into the fall and perhaps longer affecting water supplies, drought and wildfires.

  • Cities combating excessive heat may find mist gardens for cooling more accessible and safer while being repurposed for markets or other events when the nozzles are turned off for the fall.

  • The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced it will shut off all decorative fountains for the rest of the year as a response to the ongoing drought.

  • Tampa Electric customers in Florida set a new record for electricity usage at 4,514 megawatts on Wednesday.

  • At least 38 whitetail deer have died in eastern Washington as of August 2021 due to two diseases that are fueled by drought.

  • Investigators are looking into whether toxic algae may have killed 2 people, their 1 year old child and family dog in the Sierra National Forest.

  • Manatee County, Florida has been using drones to detect red tide during the summer.

  • Sarasota County, Florida, has removed more than 64 tons of dead fish and other marine life from beaches since August 4th.

  • The red tide that has lingered around Sarasota County, Florida has raised fears that it will be just as bad as the 2018 outbreak.

  • As of August 20th, a complete account of the death toll in Texas related to the power outages after February’s storm may never be known with the official count from the state’s Department of State Health Services listed as 210 deaths between February 5th and March 5th.

  • California is in the process of getting five temporary gas-fueled generators that each have capacities of 30 MW in order to prevent blackouts.


  • There are currently 99 large wildfires that have burned 2,542,132 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NM, NV, UT, WA, and WY.

  • 1 new large fire was reported in Washington and 6 large fires were reported contained on Thursday.

  • Wildfire smoke has been traveling thousands of miles, polluting the air as far as opposite coasts and the North Pole, increasing the risk of lung damage and exacerbating diseases.

  • The US Forest Service has temporarily closed 9 National Forests in Northern California due to wildfire danger.

  • California utility provider PG&E is facing increasing scrutiny for its role in starting the Dixie Fire and for safety lapses.

  • On Thursday, California regulators temporarily banned insurers from canceling policies of homeowners living in and around the burn zones of two of this year’s largest wildfires.

  • One new fire contained in California on Thursday – The Lukens Fire burned 867 acres.

  • In California, The Caldor Fire burned 68,630 acres and was 0% contained as of Friday.

    • As of Thursday afternoon, the Caldor Fire has destroyed 104 structures and threatens another 7,000.

    • Structures confirmed as destroyed as of Thursday afternoon include an elementary school and a post office.

  • Two fires were contained in Idaho on Thursday – The French Fire burned 1,459 acres and the Snake River Complex Fire burned 109,444 acres.

  • Two fires were contained in Montana on Thursday – the Dorothy Draw Fire burned 2,939 acres and the Trout Creek Fire burned at 8,315 acres.

  • One new fire sparked in Washington on Thursday – the Moraine Lake Fire burned 164 acres and was 10% contained.


  • At least 2 people are dead and 20 are missing in North Carolina after the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred caused flooding.

  • Fred was also linked to one death in Florida, after a car hydroplaned and flipped into a ditch, killing the driver.

  • About 500 families in North Carolina have been displaced by Fred, which also damaged or destroyed 10-15 bridges in Caruso, North Carolina as of Friday morning.

  • Haywood County, North Carolina officials said Fred had destroyed about 225 structures to the cost of about $300 million as of Friday morning.

  • Hurricane Grace is set to make a second landfall in Mexico sometime on Friday after strengthening over water and will bring heavy rains that will likely cause flooding into the weekend.

  • Grace is expected to move across the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday before making its landfall by the end of the day with maximum winds of 85 MPH.

  • Grace is forecast to weaken as it moves over the mountains of central Mexico.

  • Parts of Mexico’s coast from Puerto Veracruz north to Cabo Rojo are under a hurricane warning.

  • Mexico’s Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, northern Queretaro, and eastern San Luis Potosi could experience 6 to 12 inches of rain through the weekend, which may lead to flash and urban floods and mudslides.

  • Tropical Storm Henri was located about 370 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and about 780 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts with winds reaching max wind speeds of 65 MPH as of Friday morning.

  • Henri is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by Saturday before it hits Massachusetts later this weekend.

  • Parts of the South Shore of Long Island from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk, and the North Shore from Port Jefferson Harbor to Montauk and the coast from New Haven, Connecticut, to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts; and Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Block Island are all under hurricane watches.

  • Henri is expected to bring storm surge, wind, and rain and anywhere from 2 to five inches of rain to the region.

  • Watch Hill, Rhode Island, to Sagamore Beach could see storm surge of 3 to 5 feet.

  • Tropical Storm Linda crossed into the Central Pacific on Thursday, located about 910 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii with winds recording maximum speeds of 45 MPH and moving west at 17 MPH.

  • Linda is projected to continue weakening as it passes Honolulu later this weekend, but is likely to bring rain to Hawaii.

  • As of Friday morning, the surf registered easterly swells of 5 to 6 feet, with the potential for reaching 10 feet later this weekend.

Climate Studies

  • An August 2021 report found that protecting New Jersey’s back bays from extreme storms fueled by climate change could cost $16 billion.

  • An August 2021 study found that personal carbon allowances, which would cap the amount of carbon each person could use to heat their homes, purchase food, or travel could be worth revisiting after the United Kingdom’s government rejected the idea in 2008.

  • An August 2021 study found that measuring electrical current in soil could provide information on soil health, which could be useful for farmers to test if their soil is productive in real-time.

  • An August 2021 study found that excessive heat and cold are linked to 17 causes of death including cardiorespiratory or metabolic disease, but also suicide and several types of injury.


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