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

In Passing

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

TCN Journal

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

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.

Features ELSEWHERE

Germany is putting a price on all CO2 emissions to fight climate change

Angela Merkel’s government, pushed by protests, is installing a “climate package” with $60 billion for electric mobility, public transport and building retrofits. German journalist Bernhard Poetter reports from Berlin for TCN.

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.

Features CITIES+CLIMATE

After two years of effort, San Antonio finally has a climate action plan

Not everyone is crazy about San Antonio’s plan, but it’s a start. The framework for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 omits a coal plant, ensuring more debate. Part 2 in our series on Texas cities’ climate action plans.

Features

Climate change plus looser pesticide rules may imperil declining Texas bees

Bees are struggling across the board – a trend that seems at odds with recent federal actions. And then there’s the impact of climate change. What does all of this mean for pollinators in the Lone Star State?

TCN Journal

Changes to Endangered Species Act rules could threaten Texas species

A rule change allowing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to publish information on the economic impact of listing species as endangered, which triggers protection, may be bad news for a West Texas lizard.

TCN Journal

Imelda’s extreme rainfall was “increased substantially” by global warming

New research on Tropical Storm Imelda by an international team of scientists echoes studies that concluded man-made climate change boosted Hurricane Harvey’s devastating flooding in Houston and other Texas locations.

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.

TCN Journal

Studies find animals struggling to keep up with climate change

Animals have successfully adapted to a new climate in the past, but today’s pace of change is much faster. “Climate change is just happening too quickly, and animals are not adapting fast enough,” said one Texas scientist.

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.

TCN Journal

Yes, Texas summers really are hotter, more humid today than 40 years ago

A new analysis finds that many Texas cities are already experiencing significantly more days of oppressive and dangerous heat – a trend that's expected to accelerate in the future.

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.

In Passing

New national poll: Record-high numbers see human hand in climate change

The survey found a big and growing partisan divide on basic questions about climate change. Overall, 73 percent now say there is "solid evidence" of global warming – 50 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats.

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