TCN Journal | The blog of Texas Climate News | Page 1

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Industrial facilities in Texas told the EPA they emitted about 393 million metric tons of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases last year – 12.5 percent of the nationwide total of 3.13 billion metric tons.

New surveys found most Texans – like residents of California, Ohio and Colorado – think global warming is happening, want officials to do more to address it and believe the U.S. should act alone to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

A World Bank study estimated Houston will have the seventh-largest percentage increase in average annual losses from sea-level rise by 2050 among the world’s 136 biggest coastal cities.

Two recent studies produced graphic portrayals of threats to Texas and other states. Scientists at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi announced a research project to help the Houston region mitigate and adapt to sea-level rise.