TCN Journal RECORDS

Hot-weather records keep being set – and more look to be in the making

Forecasters are warning of “dangerous heat and humidity” across much of the U.S., with sky-high (that is, Texas-like) heat-index readings in many places not used to them: A fitting time to review recent high-temp records.

TCN Journal CLIMATE PROFILES

Inspired by Al Gore, Houston pediatrician strives for climate awareness

TCN Journal

A perfect pair? Well, on climate policy, Texas and ExxonMobil rarely agree

TCN Journal

Scientists to Congress (politely, in so many words): Get real on climate change

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.

TCN Journal

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

Damage costs from Texas flooding in 2015 and 2016 have reached into the billions. Expect much costlier flooding as a result of climate change and other factors, the Congressional Budget Office and World Bank are warning.

TCN Journal

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

The more basic question for oil companies is whether they can find a way to stay in their old business forever in a world committed to slashing the CO2 that their products emit. Randy Lee Loftis reports from Dallas.

TCN Journal RECORDS

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

New climate records keep being set, scientists say. Last month was the warmest April on record. It was the 12th straight month to set such a record. And January-April was the hottest four-month start for any year on record.

Features HEALTH+CLIMATE

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.

TCN Journal

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.

TCN Journal DC DISPATCHES

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.

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.

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.

Features THE PARIS CONFERENCE

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.”

Features THE PARIS CONFERENCE

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.

Features THE PARIS CONFERENCE

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]

Features CITIES+CLIMATE

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.

Features CLIMATE MIGRANTS 1

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.

Features CLIMATE MIGRANTS 2

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.

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