Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather — is this the new normal for Texas?

Latest Posts

Climate Change Clouds Future of El Niño Forecasting

In Central Texas, where water reservoirs sit at under 40 percent capacity, all eyes are on watch for El Niño, a global weather phenomenon that generally brings generous rain to the area. The National Weather Service predicts an 80 percent chance of a weak to moderate El Niño this fall, dampening hopes for a season [...]

Seem Hazy in Central Texas? It’s All Saharan Dust in the Wind

Some Texans have been able to enjoy exceptional sunsets this week as billions of tiny grains of dust from afar traverses our skies. A dusty drifter from 6,500 miles away – a giant mass of super-fine sediment and dry air from the Sahara Desert — is visiting Central Texas this week. Saharan dust blows across the Caribbean [...]

As Highland Lakes Near Record Low, Will They Ever Fill Again?

The combined storage of the Highland Lakes is expected to approach its record low – 30 percent full – by the end of this summer. After that, forecasters say, the El Niño weather pattern could bring some relief. But how much rain would it take to get them full again? The total volume of water in the [...]

New Carbon Rules Could Have Big Impact on Texas

Big changes could be coming for Texas power plants. The Obama administration is announcing new rules today aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants – the chief culprit behind global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants in the U.S. by 30 percent (from [...]

Months Behind Schedule, New Water Well Finally Arriving For Spicewood Beach

  Behind the counter of a general store just off Highway 71, Kim Clifton, the cashier, shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head when asked about the lingering drought. “We just need more rain,” she says. She rolls her head back to let out an exasperated laugh, “Bring the rain! Bring it!” It’s something you [...]

Drought Possible Culprit in Massive Fish Kill on Gulf Coast

Researchers suspect drought is the cause of a massive fish die off in the Galveston Bay where millions of shad, also known as skipjack, have washed ashore there in recent days.  They’ve been found primarily around the communities of Kemah and Seabrook. “We’ve never seen one to this scale in this location,” Texas Parks and [...]

West Texas Seeing ‘Driest Such Period in Over a Century’

Conditions ‘Remain Dire,’ Outlook Says The drought that began in October 2010 has been the driest such period in over a century for much of West Texas, putting it on par with the drought of record in the 1950s. That’s according to a new outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and it [...]

It’s Aggie vs. Aggie on the Science of Climate Change

A massive new report on climate change got a lot of attention this past week. It’s message? Climate change is already happening and having an impact, and it’s going to get worse. The section of the report on Texas found that droughts, heat waves and flooding are all set to become even more extreme as [...]

How Climate Change Is Making Allergies Worse

Thanks to all the pollen in the air, I spent the last few weeks coughing, wheezing and blowing my nose. Austin is infamous for bad allergy seasons. We have three of them: fall, winter, and spring. In the summer, it’s too hot for pollen (but the heat gives me something else to complain about). Other [...]

More Drought, Heat and Water Wars: What Climate Change Already Means for Texas

A new federal report out today from offers a stark warning about our changing climate. As carbon dioxide reaches levels never before seen during human history, we’re already feeling the effects of climate change, and it’s likely to get worse. The National Climate Assessment is the product of hundreds of experts and scientists, organized by [...]

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