TCN Archive

All of our original coverage since 2008

TCN Journal

Studies find animals struggling to keep up with climate change

Animals have successfully adapted to a new climate in the past, but today’s pace of change is much faster. “Climate change is just happening too quickly, and animals are not adapting fast enough,” said one Texas scientist.

Features

Texas cities roll slowly toward clean and quiet battery-electric buses

Transit officials in a half-dozen of the state’s bigger cities are deploying electric buses on the streets, at least in small numbers. Progress is gradual so far, but the trend line is clear.

In Passing

Marine heat waves can kill crucial coral reefs outright, new study finds

Scientists already knew climate change threatened reefs like the Flower Garden Banks off Texas with a process called bleaching. Now, they’ve learned hotter ocean temperatures also kill coral without that condition happening.

TCN Journal

Yes, Texas summers really are hotter, more humid today than 40 years ago

A new analysis finds that many Texas cities are already experiencing significantly more days of oppressive and dangerous heat – a trend that's expected to accelerate in the future.

Features

Health after Harvey: The lingering stress and distress of a major hurricane

Researchers convene in Houston this week to discuss findings about Hurricane Harvey’s public-health impacts and healthcare providers’ response. This is one of two articles exploring some of what they’ve learned.

Features

Health after Harvey: Some physical problems persist, others are undefined

Stronger hurricanes and other flood-producing storms are happening already because of climate change and more should be expected, scientists say. Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Houston and other locations along the Texas coast, is a case study in how a storm boosted by climate change affects people’s health, how some of those impacts linger, […]

TCN Journal

No thaw here: Trump’s EPA appointees toe contrarian line on climate science

Some key Republicans say they now back climate action, which presupposes acceptance of climate science. You won't find evidence of such acceptance in two key EPA appointments with Texas connections, however.

Features

Slip-sliding away? Coal’s Texas role keeps shrinking despite GOP efforts

Recent developments underscore a continuing trend: Even without Obama's climate rules to help phase out coal (now abandoned by Trump), coal continues to suffer at the expense of wind and natural gas as sources of electricity.

In Passing

For Apollo 11’s Michael Collins, view from the moon showed Earth’s fragility

For the 50th anniversary of the first moon-walking mission, Collins told the BBC that while piloting the command module in lunar orbit he was struck by how Earth was “a fragile little thing” in the black vastness of space.

TCN Journal

Soggy Midwest spring leads to sizable 2019 Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’

Looking ahead, heavier rains resulting from climate change are expected to send more freshwater and nutrients to the Gulf, which deplete oxygen and harm marine life there. Warming Gulf waters could aggravate the problem.

TCN Journal

Texas-based AT&T is getting ready for climate change, even if Trump isn’t

The telecommunications giant headquartered in Dallas launched a climate resiliency plan using supercomputer projections to help plan for the next Harvey. The readiness project contrasts starkly with the president's climate stance.

In Passing

Proposed high-speed train gets through Legislature without derailment

Proponents say the project will reduce Houston-Dallas travel times and greenhouse pollution. Despite avoiding legislative roadblocks for a third session, it still faces opposition from rural residents and others.

TCN Journal

Those hot summer nights are getting hotter as climate change progresses

“High lows” – increasing overnight minimum temperatures – are happening in Texas, throughout the U.S. and around the world. Warmer weather at night can pose significant health risks, scientists say.

Features

In Texas and elsewhere, science seeks ways to reduce methane from cattle

Cows belch a lot of heat-trapping methane. Are climate-friendlier beef and milk possible? Kelly Calagna examines the issue in an article and video for TCN, including a look at a Texas-developed digestive aid for cattle.

TCN Journal

Oceans of trouble: Austin man swimming through Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Ben Lecomte, a French-born long-distance swimmer who now calls Texas home, is collecting ideas and data on his trek while he calls attention to plastic debris and other ocean conservation problems.

Features

Meeting assesses a low-carbon future for decidedly high-carbon Houston

The Center for Houston's Future, a think tank affiliated with the city's leading business organization, is holding a Houston Low-Carbon Energy Summit. The Center's CEO, Brett Perlman, talked with TCN's editor about the event.

Features

Texas Legislature hints at climate change without saying its name

Harvey's destruction (amplified by climate change) inspired lawmakers to OK flood-control funds. But facing climate change directly was still too much. A summary of the session's environmental action and (mainly) inaction.

TCN Journal

Houston survey: Climate concern steady but less support for related policies

The Rice University poll's authors noted that “the instinctive resistance to an increase in government controls over the initiatives of the private sector is still firmly embedded, it would seem, in Houston’s basic DNA.”

Features

The Amazon forest: Crucial for Earth’s climate but facing new threats

Melissa Gaskill, a science writer and TCN contributing editor, traveled to Brazil to learn more about the Amazon rainforest and its role in climate change. The forest's future has never been so uncertain, she reports.

TCN Journal

Is a breakthrough in sight for climate action? New polls shed some light

After years near the bottom of public priorities, climate change is now the top concern among Democratic voters, one recent survey found. Other polls also reveal a growing feeling of urgency, especially among young people.

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