TCN Journal

Reporting, analysis, summary, synthesis

September 23, 2016 RECORDS

Last month was the hottest August on record. Will 2016 be the hottest year?

2016 has a good chance to top 2015 as the year with the highest global temperature. According to NOAA, this year’s January-August and June-August periods were the hottest such spans on record – for any year since 1880.

September 18, 2016

TCN editor receives national award for outstanding environmental reporting

The Sierra Club cited Bill Dawson and TCN for raising awareness of climate change issues. Other recent recipients of its David R. Brower Award include a former editor of The Guardian and a staff writer for The New Yorker.

August 29, 2016

“Extreme” water vapor that fed Louisiana storm a cautionary climate reminder

Climate change is aggravating natural flooding risks, one Texas scientist noted. “As the atmosphere warms, so does the ocean. Evaporation speeds up, making more water available for a storm to pick up and dump.”

August 12, 2016

Sea-level, ice-melt concerns echo from Rio to Texas and points far beyond

The opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro sent “a message to the world” about climate change. It was reflected in reports about melting and flooding dangers in the U.S., South Pacific, Siberia and Greenland.

August 3, 2016 HEALTH+CLIMATE

Amid worrisome Zika news, longer mosquito season found across the U.S.

Researchers for the Climate Central organization said higher temperatures and humidity since the 1980s increased the number of “ideal” mosquito-breeding days across most of the country, including many parts of Texas.

July 24, 2016 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.

July 19, 2016 CLIMATE PROFILES

Inspired by Al Gore, Houston pediatrician strives for climate awareness

Ten years after she saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” medical school professor Susan Pacheco will join Gore and others in conducting his Climate Reality Project’s first Texas training for “a new generation” of climate activists.

July 11, 2016

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

A supposed celebrity power couple – Texxon, perhaps? – came together briefly in a recent court skirmish. But the legal partners actually have split over global warming’s reality, human causation and solutions.

July 1, 2016

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

In a joint letter, 31 major scientific societies said carbon pollution “must be substantially reduced.” It was, in effect, a response to officials, including many Texans, who reject climate science and oppose climate action.

June 12, 2016

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.

May 25, 2016

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.

May 20, 2016 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.

April 20, 2016

“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.

March 28, 2016

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.

March 23, 2016

“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.

March 11, 2016 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.

March 6, 2016

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.

February 10, 2016

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.

February 1, 2016

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.

January 21, 2016

2015: Hottest year on record – and by a record margin, US, UK scientists say

Scientists at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2016 may well surpass 2015’s record average surface temperature. The Texas state climatologist told TCN he shares that expectation.

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