In Passing RECORDS

May: Another month for temperature records, 13th record-warm month in a row

Even with the waning of the warmth-boosting El Niño pattern, May set another monthly record for a high average global temperature, federal scientists said. New records were also set for the March-May and January-May periods.

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Flooding costs will soar in a warming world, economic analysts say

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ExxonMobil wards off climate resolutions, oil still faces long-term challenges

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With April temps, 2016 stays on track to be Earth’s hottest year on record


Climate change and globalization driving tropical diseases toward Texas

West Nile. Dengue. Chikungunya. And now Zika is adding to concerns about tropical diseases in the U.S. Researchers say more resources are needed to monitor mosquito-borne illnesses. First in our new series, Health+Climate.

TCN Journal

“The new abnormal” – the latest Houston flood disaster’s climate context

It’s too soon for studies assessing human influence on the event. Scientists, however, have lately been pointing in general terms to links between warming temperatures, more water vapor in the air, and extreme downpours.

In Passing

Polls yield more signs that Republican opinions on climate are shifting

You wouldn’t know it by listening to leading GOP officials in Texas or the party’s top presidential candidates. But public opinion surveys continue to find Republicans increasingly expressing concern about climate change.

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What do low oil prices mean for the climate? It’s not a simple question

Driving does go up when gasoline prices dip and retreats when they rise. Neither marks climate progress or its lack. The long-term average matters. And some Texas numbers may challenge assumptions. Randy Lee Loftis reports.

TCN Journal

“Hotter, wetter, drier” – Scientists say temp records a view of the future

Average global temperatures in February and the December-February winter quarter obliterated previous records. Texas, much warmer than normal, illustrated the regional variability that made up the planet-wide averages.


Texas’ Lamar Smith, U.S. House science chair, can’t leave controversy alone

Forget the ivory tower. To Smith, science is a battleground. Since TCN last chronicled his feud with federal climate scientists, the exchange of fire has barely abated. Joseph A. Davis, our Washington correspondent, reports.

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New research magnifies concerns about sea-level hazards in coastal areas

Recent studies have underscored researchers’ warnings about impacts that rising seas are having in Texas and along other coastlines – impacts expected to increase in decades and centuries ahead.

In Passing

UT Poll: Large majority of Americans backs action against climate change

“We’re seeing strong support for collaborative efforts among nations to combat the effects of climate change,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the national UT Energy Poll, which the university conducts semiannually.

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Texas officials, fighting Obama’s climate-protection plan, win a pause

The Supreme Court halted the Clean Power Plan, aimed at slashing coal use in electricity production, while a multi-state lawsuit co-led by Texas continues. Houston is part of a municipal coalition supporting the plan.

In Passing

Is climate change making El Niños worse? That remains a scientific mystery

“The issue of whether El Niños will become more or less frequent or more or less intense under global warming is far from clear,” Texas’ state climatologist says. TCN senior editor Randy Lee Loftis examines the subject.

TCN Journal

A snowball’s chance in a warming world? Still excellent, scientists say

As millions in the Northeast struggled with a huge blizzard's impact last week, scientists were explaining, and journalists reporting on, research into links between a warmer climate and winter-storm severity. A TCN reading guide.


Americans in Paris: A European journalist’s assessment of the US role

In an exclusive analysis for Texas Climate News, Bernhard Poetter of the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung describes “how the U.S. delegation at the climate talks got its groove back. And where they put on the brakes.”


Historic moment: 195 nations agree to limit warming, turn from fossil fuels

Virtually all nations on Earth supported an agreement to transform humanity’s use of energy in a bid to avoid the most devastating impacts of man-made climate change.


The climate agreement – ultimately, it all boils down to temperature

Limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius? Or 1.5? As recent temperature statistics and scientific assessments have underscored, achieving either goal will present daunting, historic challenges on a monumental scale.

In Passing

Texas wind, showcased in Obama’s business climate pledge, reaches milestone

Wind’s portion of the state’s electricity use set a new record at one point. Meanwhile, several companies’ White House pledges to cut climate pollution indicated Texas wind is a key part of their low-carbon strategies.

In Passing

National agreement that climate is changing hits all-time high in UT poll

The latest UT Energy Poll found 76 percent nationally, 69 percent in Texas, think climate change is happening. The poll’s release came just before scientists said 2015 will almost surely be the hottest year on record.

In Passing

Texas can easily meet EPA’s CO2 rules — and cash in, too, EDF report says

Texas has already taken big steps toward meeting Clean Power Plan requirements years before they take effect, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Randy Lee Loftis reports for TCN. [Updated]


Houston’s mayor, soon to leave office, continues push for climate action

Annise Parker has waged a tenure-long effort to promote Houston’s actions to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from municipal operations and to campaign for federal and international action against climate change.


Climate-forced migrations and prospect of refugee crises concern experts

Social conditions are blamed for driving thousands of children into Texas from Central America last year. But analysts warn future migrations could be much larger, prompted by the intensifying impacts of global warming.


Q&A: Refugees International, climate displacement program manager

Alice Thomas talked with TCN contributing editor Greg Harman about climate-driven migration. “The impact of climate change will largely be a function of underlying vulnerability of the population it affects,” she said.

In Passing

“Drought’s over” joy short-lived – drought’s creeping back into Texas

It was nice while it lasted – the first drought-free map of Texas since 2010. But since it was published, drought and “abnormally dry” conditions have returned to East Texas, prompting a rise in outdoor burn bans.

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