Top Climate Impacts Americans Face Today

The climate crisis has already cost the U.S. billions of dollars and too many lives

As of July 15, 2022, the United States has already experienced devastating extreme weather events such as heat waves, wildfires, drought, tornadoes, and winter storms. So far in 2022, 1 drought and 8 severe storms are billion-dollar disaster events that have cost the U.S. over $10 billion and have left 8 dead. Without decisive action and bold investments in clean energy and resilient infrastructure, we won’t be able to stem the worst impacts of climate change, making it more difficult to save our people, our country, and our planet.

  • Over the past few weeks, intense heat waves have shattered daily temperature records, leaving millions across the U.S. to deal with dangerously high temperatures.
    • According to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last month was among the hottest Junes on record at around 2 degrees warmer than an average June in the late 1800s.
  • As of July 15, 2022,  more fires have burned in the U.S. this year than had by this time in 2021, indicating this year could be even worse for wildfire risk.
    • As of today, there are currently 93 large active wildfires that have burned 3,072,433 across AK, AZ, CA, FL, NE, NV, NM, OK, TX, UT, and WY. As of today, 36,578 wildfires have burned 5,179,043 acres across the country.
    • New Mexico is still battling the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, the largest blaze in state history, which started in April and has displaced thousands of people.
  • The megadrought in the American Southwest has become so severe that it’s now the driest two decades in the region in at least 1,200 years. 42% of this megadrought can be attributed to human-caused climate change. 
  • The zone of the country most susceptible to tornadoes, known as “Tornado Alley,” may be shifting eastward due to climate change. These new at-risk areas are more densely populated and the majority of homes were not built to withstand strong tornadoes.
    • Tornado outbreaks in March and April 2022 have already caused 5 deaths and $2.6 billion of damage to homes, businesses, vehicles, and other infrastructure.
  • One year after Winter Storm Uri, Winter Storm Landon caused the worst icing in Texas state history. As the climate crisis worsens, extreme weather events, such as these winter storms become the norm.