Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Jillian Schantz Patrick

Jillian Schantz Patrick is an intern at KUT News

  • Email: TX_jillian@fake.com

Meet the Texas Salamanders That Could Be Endangered Soon

Four Central Texas Salamanders have recently been proposed to be listed on the endangered species list by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You can learn more about the salamanders, and where they live in the region, in the slideshow above.

These salamanders are local to specific areas within the Edwards Aquifer region and have been threatened by development and urbanization in recent years.

“The Edwards Aquifer is an important water source not only for these four salamander species, but also for those living and working in the area,” said Adam Zerrenner, Austin Field Office Supervisor with the Fish and Wildlife service.

If the ruling passes, these regions will be subject to preservation guidelines. You can read more about the proposed listing in our earlier story, Saving the Salamanders: Conservation vs. Development.

Jillian Schantz Patrick is an intern with KUT News. 

In Photos: Carbon Sinks Across the World

What’s a carbon sink? It’s a process where the earth soaks up atmospheric carbon, which there is more and more of in the world. Those “sinks” take the form of forests and oceans, and a new study we reported on last week says that, contrary to previous research, the earth’s ability to soak up carbon has “increased roughly in line with rising emissions.” So herewith is a slideshow of some of those carbon sinks that are helping to eat up some of the carbon in the atmosphere.

Near-Total Eclipse of the Heart (and Sun) Coming to Texas Sunday

You’re going to need something better than wayfarers this weekend. The first annular solar eclipse of the 21st century for the continental U.S. is coming to Texas Sunday. You can see photos of some notable eclipses in the slideshow above.

The eclipse will start in Eastern Asia and cross east over the Pacific, ending in Central Texas. Here’s an interactive map of where the eclipse will pass, with peak viewing times. NASA says the eclipse will begin at 7:35 pm in Texas and peak at sundown. The best views will be from West Texas, particularly Amarillo, Lubbock and Midland-Odessa, where the eclipse will peak right around 8:30 pm. For those of you in the big cities of Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, you won’t get to see the full peak phase of the eclipse because the sun will have set by then. But you’ll still be able to see some of it.

An annular eclipse is close to a total eclipse, but not quite. With an annular solar eclipse, the moon directly passes between the earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the earth’s surface.  For a viewer on earth, the light from the sun is almost fully blocked creating a “ring of fire” around the moon.

NASA cautions viewers to not look directly at the sun and to not rely on standard sunglasses. Looking directly at the eclipse can cause permanent eye damage. “The ring of sunlight during annularity is blindingly bright,” Fred Ezpenack, an eclipse expert at NASA, warns on their websiteContinue Reading

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