The Lead

The report “highlights how climate change is expected to interact with, and in many cases exacerbate, problems we already struggle with today in Texas,” Texas Tech scientist Katharine Hayhoe told TCN.

Feature Stories
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A U.N.-sponsored panel, comprising researchers from 39 countries, said scientists are now 95 percent certain that humans are the main cause of global warming. TCN asked Texas climate experts for their reactions to the report.

TCN INTERVIEW
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The aim of the conference, planned in response to a class assignment at UT’s LBJ School, was to identify “collaborative solutions” to help make the Austin region more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

TCN Interview
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South by Southwest (often, just SXSW) famously showcases music, film and digital technologies each March. SXSW Eco, scheduled Oct. 7-9 this year, has a broader aim – helping to achieve “a sustainable and prosperous future.”

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As another threat to rooftop solar power is blocked in San Antonio, a nationwide question looms: What will become of utility claims that programs encouraging residential solar hurt the poor? Greg Harman examines the issues for TCN.

TCN Journal
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Even without the credit, positive reports continue to appear about the outlook for more wind power in Texas. One recent assessment called it “Texas’ hottest energy prospect” and predicted “a new surge of wind farm development.”

SNAPSHOTS OF THE DROUGHT
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California’s perilous drought has been in the news lately. The situation in Texas is not so dire now, but dry conditions persist in the Lone Star State – with distinct echoes of California’s plight.

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The Climate Central report was one of various responses to suggestions that the “polar vortex” cold spell cast doubt on manmade global warming. A common theme: Short-term weather isn’t the same as a long-term climate trend.

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Texas is “one of the more vulnerable states” to “abrupt climate changes and to the abrupt impact of gradual climate changes,” the sole Texas scientist on the National Research Council committee that issued the report told TCN.

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In its Winter Outlook for climate conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said drought will probably make a comeback in Texas and neighboring areas. Meanwhile, drought-related tussles and problems continue.

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Texans approved a constitutional amendment to allocate $2 billion in a one-time transfer from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to pay for water-supply and water-conservation projects.

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