In Passing

Growing number in Houston area see perils of human-caused climate change

Rice University’s annual opinion survey found wide concern that climate change is a serious problem and acceptance of its human causation. A national poll found pandemic worries haven’t eroded climate concerns.

Features

Advocacy groups move online to continue the fight during pandemic lockdown

Features

When it comes to carbon neutrality, Texas schools have a long way to go

TCN Journal

On Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, strong echoes of the first one in 1970

Features

Ecosystem disruption means more human exposure to pathogens, scientists say

A growing body of research links environmental disturbance and biodiversity loss to human diseases, including those, like Covid-19, that are caused by viruses jumping from animals to people.

TCN Journal

More extreme heat and extreme rainfall projected for Texas’ 200th birthday

A report sponsored by a Dallas-based nonprofit with ties to the business community and produced by Texas’ state climatologist aims to equip the state’s leadership to act now for climate change expected by 2036.

TCN Journal

The ‘new normal’ of pandemic: How Texas Climate News is responding

TCN was founded to cover climate change and its connections to other issues. At this unsettling moment, the coronavirus crisis is suddenly connected to just about everything. A note from our editor about how we’ll proceed.

TCN Journal

Climate politics, 2020 style: Al Gore kicks off voter campaign in Houston

The “Vote Your Future: Vote Climate” drive focuses on young people. Gore’s rally at historically black Texas Southern University showed Texas is seen as an electoral battleground and site for environmental justice appeals.

Features

Monarch butterflies, already in peril, can’t seem to catch a break

Factors behind the beautiful creatures’ decline range from climate change to degraded habitat. Their immense migration traverses Texas. “What happens in Texas affects the rest of the breeding range,” one researcher says.

Features

Super-green YouTube show gives Texas some serious renewable-energy cred

The UK-based show’s “Fully Charged LIVE” event drew standing-room crowds in Austin for its showcase of an array of new electric vehicles – from bicycles to Texas-size pickups. An omen of the state’s automotive future?

In Passing

Uncommonly high Texas temps were part of Earth’s record January warmth

Coming on the heels of Earth’s warmest year on record, 2020 started with the planet’s warmest January on record. In Texas, dozens of daily maximum readings exceeded or tied previous records.

TCN Journal

New study confirms Gulf Coast sea-level rise among the country’s highest

Scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science measured sea-level rise at 32 tide-gauge stations along the U.S. coastline. Rockport and Galveston had the second- and third-highest rates of rise in 2019.

Features

2020 kicks off with more hot news about climate change – and it isn’t good

An announcement by NASA and NOAA about rising temperatures is consistent with a series of other recent reports that indicate the world isn’t making progress needed to escape the worst effects of global warming.

Features

Climate-changing methane emissions climb in West Texas, other oil/gas areas

The flaring, venting and leaking of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse pollutant, has tarnished and complicated natural gas’s once-cleaner image as a “bridge fuel” to a more climate-conscious future.

TCN Journal

Texas Climate News: 11 years of fact-based journalism in the public interest

When this nonprofit publication launched in 2008, there was no expectation it would still be afloat 11 years later. But here we are, thanks in large part to our readers. Please consider making a donation to help us keep going.

Features

A departed Republican’s service and words illuminate a different GOP

William Ruckelshaus, who died recently, led the EPA under two Republican presidents. He later headed a Houston-based corporation. His legacy is a reminder that his party’s leadership once included such avid conservationists.

TCN Journal

Austin’s emergency resolution one more step on its climate-action path

Advocates of urgent action to curb and get ready for climate change have promoted the use of “emergency” and “crisis” to describe it. That terminology campaign is enjoying some success. Austin is one of the entities now on board.

Features

Disaster drone pilots are working hard and getting tired, research shows

Drones are increasingly being deployed in natural disaster response, including a slew of climate-related applications in recent years. For the humans flying these unmanned machines, working conditions are tough.

TCN Journal

Efforts encouraging Texas ranchers to restore native grasses show promise

One former state official helps ranchers replenish their property with native grasses. He hopes a connected series of restored prairies will help protect native Texas wildlife from the effects of climate change.

In Passing

Texas Tech’s Katharine Hayhoe receives UN’s top environmental honor

The scientist was recognized for work quantifying the effects of climate change and efforts to transform public attitudes about it. She is well known for educational outreach to fellow evangelical Christians.

In Passing

Marine heat waves can kill crucial coral reefs outright, new study finds

Scientists already knew climate change threatened reefs like the Flower Garden Banks off Texas with a process called bleaching. Now, they’ve learned hotter ocean temperatures also kill coral without that condition happening.

In Passing

For Apollo 11’s Michael Collins, view from the moon showed Earth’s fragility

For the 50th anniversary of the first moon-walking mission, Collins told the BBC that while piloting the command module in lunar orbit he was struck by how Earth was “a fragile little thing” in the black vastness of space.

In Passing

Proposed high-speed train gets through Legislature without derailment

Proponents say the project will reduce Houston-Dallas travel times and greenhouse pollution. Despite avoiding legislative roadblocks for a third session, it still faces opposition from rural residents and others.

In Passing

Climate change, warming oceans and an iconic, endangered sea turtle

Scientists are examining the negative impacts of warmer waters on marine ecosystems. One study recorded a dramatic increase in temperature-linked strandings of Kemp's Ridley turtles, a rare species that mainly nests in Texas.

In Passing

Border-wall brawl dominates attention amid more climate-migration reports

A congressional watchdog agency. A scientific journal. National Geographic. These were some of the recent publishers of new reports as researchers and journalists examine ways climate change is propelling migration.

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