TCN Journal

Reporting, analysis, summary, synthesis


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.

January 14, 2016 CITIES+CLIMATE

It’s Houston versus Texas in a looming court battle over climate rules

Texas is co-leading a group of states opposing federal regulations to reduce power plants’ greenhouse pollution. The state’s largest city – the oil capital – is part of a local government coalition supporting the rules.

December 24, 2015 MOSAIC

In the seasonal spirit of affinity for trees, a roundup of worrisome forest news

Each December, evergreens with lights and ornaments offer renewed evidence of people’s undying fondness for trees. But a series of recent studies adds to mounting evidence of the massive harm climate change is doing to forests.


Congressional Republicans try to thwart climate pact, discredit science

Ted Cruz’s latest attack on the vast scientific consensus undergirding the Paris climate talks comes amid various Republican efforts to block an emission-cutting agreement with signals that it faces opposition in Congress.


Texans in Paris for assorted activities linked to climate negotiations

The thousands who travelled to the French capital because of the talks include many who aren’t negotiators or journalists, but are there for a kaleidoscopic array of discussions, exhibits and other climate-themed events.


What would an independent Texas tell the UN about its climate pollution?

With secession talk still popping up, TCN imagined how a Texas national submission to the Paris climate talks might sound. Given its leaders’ stance, a Lone Star republic might find itself pretty lonely on a world stage.


Climate talks: Reports on developments, coverage guide (Updated Dec. 16)

An introduction to the Paris negotiations and regularly updated guide to TCN’s special conference series, plus our continuing summary of key conference developments and recommendations for background reading.

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