Climate Impact Report – 9/20

Quick Facts


large active wildfires that have burned 3,219,092 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NV, WA, OR, UT, WA, and WY. This year to date, 45,184 wildfires have burned 5,685,286 acres across the country.


acres burned by the Caldor Fire and was % contained as of Monday.


acres burned by the KNP Complex Fire and was 0% contained as of Monday.

Facts Of The Day 9/20

Extreme Heat

  • On Monday, the Biden Administration will announce that it is launching actions intended to reduce heat-related illness and protect vulnerable communities from extreme heat.

  • A Long Beach city councilman has proposed building a public pool as a way to combat the effects of climate change and inequities of infrastructure access.

  • Williamson County, Texas, was named the top county in the United States facing a high risk for extreme heat.

  • Heatwaves and droughts in the Pacific Northwest could make live Christmas trees an item in short supply in 2021.

    • Because Christmas trees take 8 to 12 years to mature, the lack of seedlings from this year’s tree crop could be felt through 2029.

  • Crops affected by the ongoing drought in the Western United States include hay, cotton, sunflowers, Christmas trees, and mint.

  • Extreme weather events caused by climate change may mean that there are no safe places to live to escape the impacts.

  • Water access, ongoing drought and wildfire smoke have been ongoing sources of tension in California’s 21st Congressional district with some seeing the problem as the federal government’s management, rather than climate change.

  • Utah’s drought declaration is set to expire on October 31st, but state officials are considering extending the declaration because of the continued lack of precipitation.

  • Extreme drought is increasingly stressing New Mexico’s water-sharing structure through irrigation systems known as acequias, which blend Indigenous irrigation culture with knowledge from the Moors via Spanish settlers.

  • Increasingly warm temperatures are affecting Minnesota’s hunting season, by causing ducks to remain in Canada until November because it is too hot to migrate.

  • Black homeowners are 5 times more likely than white ones to own homes in historically redlined communities, which makes them more likely to live in neighborhoods that are disproportionately hotter.

  • Hurricane Ida damaged or destroyed 31,000 electric poles that carry lower-voltage distribution lines in Louisiana, twice as many as destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

  • California utility provider PG&E warned that some San Francisco Bay Area counties could see power outages this week due to dry and hot weather.


  • As of Monday, there are currently 71 large active wildfires that have burned 3,219,092 acres across CA, CO, ID, MN, MT, NV, WA, OR, UT, WA and WY. This year to date, 45,184 wildfires have burned 5,685,286 acres across the country.

  • Scientists are studying what possible long-term damage wildfires may cause to Lake Tahoe’s waters in California and Nevada.

  • Grazing goats are being used to cut down on vegetation that might normally spark during wildfire season.

  • In California, the Caldor Fire burned 219,060 acres and was  % contained as of Monday.

    • Airbnb has been criticized for a lack of transparency about its wildfire policy as well as denying refunds to guests regarding the Caldor Fire.

  • The KNP Complex Fire burned 21,773 acres and was 0% contained as of Monday.

    • The 275 foot and 2,000-plus years old General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park remained safe as of Sunday night from the fire.

    • The National Park Service announced that parts of Kings Canyon National Park would be closed Sunday night, with more closures expected in the coming days.


  • Tropical Storm Peter formed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean at about 11 PM local time on Sunday, located about 305 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and was expected to pass north of the Lesser Antilles.

    • As of Sunday night, Peter had winds measuring 45 MPH and was moving west-northwest at 17 MPH.

    • Peter was expected to bring about 1 to 3 inches of rain to parts of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the rest of the northern Leeward Islands on Monday and through Tuesday.

    • Peter is not expected to hit the United States.

  • Tropical Storm Rose formed Sunday evening and as of Monday morning, was located about 550 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving north-northwest at 15 MPH with maximum winds measuring at 40 MPH.

    • Rose is expected to strengthen on Monday and then slowly weaken over the next few days.

    • Rose is forecast to head northwest into the open ocean with no threat to land.

  • Tropical Storm Odette formed off the mid-Atlantic coast on Friday and was downgraded to a post-tropical storm on Saturday.

    • The remnants of Odette caused high rip current risk to the beaches in the Boston area.

  • Survivors of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana are increasingly frustrated with insurance companies refusing what criteria they use to deem a property “unliveable.”

  • Grand Isle, Louisiana, saw almost every building damaged with 40% of the houses destroyed, bringing up questions about the allocation of resources used to repair infrastructure on the island before Grand Isle is lost to the rising sea levels.

  • As of last Friday evening, more than 38,000 people in Louisiana are still without power.

    • In the Terrebonne Parish school district in Louisiana, only about 12 of the district’s 34 schools had power as of last Friday.

    • In the small fishing town of Cut Off, Louisiana, the urgent care clinic has had to rely on a generator for power, as well as cope with slow supply deliveries due to debris blocking roads.

  • As of Friday, Hurricane Ida has killed 30 people in NJ, making it the second-deadliest storm in history for the state.

Climate Studies

  • A September 2021 study found that coral reefs are 50% less able to provide ecosystem services such as food, livelihoods, and protection from storms compared to the 1950s, and a global effort is needed to mitigate the damage.

  • A September 2021 study found that climate change has displaced microscopic, photosynthetic algae, which threatens marine ecosystems and the oceans.

  • A September 2021 report found that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate disasters have affected 139.2 million people and killed more than 17,242 people.


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