Features AAAS IN AUSTIN

Dispatches from the American Academy for the Advancement of Science

The AAAS annual meeting, premier science gathering in the United States, is being held this year in Austin. Ruth SoRelle, a veteran medical and science journalist, is covering it for TCN in this updated series of reports.

Features AAAS IN AUSTIN

Materials like personal care products are now a dominant source of air pollution

In Passing

White House yanks nomination of Texan White for key environmental slot

Features

Rising ocean temperatures threaten sea turtles’ long-term reproduction

TCN Journal

Trump’s dismissal of climate concerns likely to hit headwind at Davos forum

In advance of the president’s appearance at the annual meeting of global leaders, new reports confirmed Earth’s continuing warming trend and ranked climate and weather hazards among the biggest dangers facing the planet.

In Passing

Texan Kathleen Hartnett White again faces a Senate confirmation gantlet

White’s stalled nomination to head the White House environmental council has drawn intense opposition from scientists and others. A Houston Chronicle editorial said she “recklessly dismisses” the threats of climate change.

Features

What comes after capitalism? An interview with UT’s Raj Patel

A challenging new book co-written by Patel, a professor, writer and activist at the LBJ School, argues that our economic system can’t survive the looming end of “cheap things,” including “cheap nature” and “cheap energy.”

TCN Journal

Rick Perry’s plan to prop up declining coal, nuclear industries proves DOA

Texans were among many praising independent regulators' rejection of the energy secretary's claim that closing coal and nuclear plants imperils “grid reliability.” But coal is scoring other big wins with the administration.

TCN Journal CITIES+CLIMATE

Texas’ suburbs outpace central urban areas as greenhouse-gas producers

Long commutes and big homes help push CO2 emissions higher in outlying areas. A few local initiatives in Texas seek to steer new development toward inner cities, but research suggests cutting emissions requires more than that.

TCN Journal

Texan among first recipients of French president’s climate-research grants

Biologist Camille Parmesan praised the “proactive engagement” of Emmanuel Macron's "Make Our Planet Great Again" initiative. He launched the grant program in response to Trump administration cuts in climate research.

TCN Journal

Getting toastier in Santa Land. (Well, less frigid, as melting speeds up)

Researchers are documenting “unprecedented" disruptions to the Arctic ecosystem due to warming air and shrinking sea ice. A summary and reading guide to new reports about how climate change is transforming the Far North.

TCN Journal

GOP tax bill leaves most energy subsidies intact – fossil and renewable

Wind, solar, gas and oil production – all important in Texas – have long competed on the battleground of subsidies and tax breaks. None comes out of the tussle over Republicans' tax overhaul with a notable new advantage.

TCN Journal

Two new studies: Manmade warming made Harvey’s rainfall much worse

Two research efforts – one with involvement by Houston's Rice University – concluded climate change increased the storm's severity. A national opinion poll, meanwhile, found 54 percent of the public already held that view.

In Passing

Senate panel OKs Texan science doubter to head U.S. environmental council

Kathleen Hartnett White has voiced doubt about the sweeping scientific consensus on climate change for years. A fellow at a conservative think tank, she formerly led Texas' principal environmental regulatory agency.

Features

Attwater’s prairie chicken population hit hard by Harvey

Science writer Melissa Gaskill reports that while long-term impact of the storm on Texas’ endangered species remains to be seen, initial information suggests whooping cranes and sea turtles fared better than the already threatened grouse.

Features

Will Harvey, other storms move Texans’ attitudes about climate change?

In 2008, TCN’s first article explored whether Hurricane Ike would change minds. Nine years on, with many Texas leaders still dismissing or denying dangers of climate disruption, we ask if a more devastating storm will do that.

Features

Texas communities, rich and poor, seek common ground in Gore’s new climate film

"An Inconvenient Sequel," the former vice president’s updated call to action against climate change, explores resiliency and hope in defeat. Some Dallas neighborhoods already know what that means.

Features

From Texas to Australia, climate change socks coral reefs worldwide

Science writer Melissa Gaskill has made underwater visits to the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In this two-part report for TCN, she examines the impacts of a warming climate on coral.

In Passing

Perry signals return to his earlier science-denying stance on climate change

The Energy Department chief mocked climate science as Texas governor. Now he dismisses researchers’ consensus conclusion – that pollution mainly drives climate change. Scientists are trying to school him.

In Passing

Polls: Americans give thumbs down to exiting Paris climate accord [Updated]

President Trump’s action was a big loser among Democrats and independents. But it scored well among Republicans, which led some analysts to suggest it might help shore up support among his most dedicated fans.

Features

The US is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. What will it mean?

The pollution-cutting pact, signed by 195 nations, was hailed as a monumental achievement to try to avoid catastrophic disruption of the climate. Now what? Uncertainties abound in the wake of Trump’s decision to exit the accord.

In Passing

State, city leaders square off over Trump’s move to kill Clean Power Plan

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hailed the action to end the Obama initiative, Houston’s Sylvester Turner and Austin’s Steve Adler were among U.S. mayors affirming the plan and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Features

A barrier to wildlife as well as people: Environmental costs of Trump’s wall

In South Texas, a “contiguous and impassable” structure to block human migration would obstruct essential movement of wildlife species aided by decades of conservation efforts. Melissa Gaskill examines the issue for TCN.

In Passing

Large majority opposes Trump’s pledge to get out of Paris Climate Agreement

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found Americans, by a 56-31 margin, want the U.S. to stay in the pollution-cutting pact. Another poll found 61 percent, counter to Trump, want the EPA's powers strengthened or preserved.

In Passing

2016 in Texas: 3rd warmest year, a slew of weather and climate disasters

2016 was the second warmest year on record in the contiguous 48 states, NOAA reported. Besides having its third warmest year since 1895, Texas experienced nearly half of of the nation’s costliest meteorological events.

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