Global Warming | KERA News

Global Warming

Flames from a backfire consume a hillside as firefighters battle the Maria Fire in Santa Paula, California, on Nov. 1, 2019.
Associated Press

The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, two U.S. agencies reported Wednesday. And scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records.

Mention the year 2011 to any Austinite who lived here then, and expect to get an earful. It was the hottest year recorded in Austin's history – so hot and so dry that living through it has become a kind of shared trauma for many.

The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on Earth. Twice as fast.

That’s not easy to grasp when you’re thousands of miles away. But over the summer, one Austin high school teacher went to see it firsthand.

In March, when Cyclone Idai made landfall in central Mozambique and became one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the country's history, Jose Mucote was ready.

He runs a local humanitarian aid nonprofit and had been working since 2008 to set up a cyclone response system in the town of Estaquinha that included solar-powered radios, a warehouse stocked with emergency supplies and an evacuation boat.

Associated Press

The Trump administration moved Thursday to revoke regulations on methane leaks from oil facilities, a proposal environmental advocates said would renounce key federal authority to regulate the climate-damaging gas.

The triple-digit heatwave hitting Austin is becoming one for the record books. On Wednesday, it became the fifth longest ever recorded in the city's history, and more hot days are expected.  

Associated Press

July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880, the latest in a long line of peaks that scientists say backs up predictions for man-made climate change.

This July is on track to be Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, and that spike in heat is part of a larger warming trend that could change the way governments and researchers measure extreme temperatures.

Texas is hot. That is not news. It has, seemingly, always been hot. Again, not news. Here is some news: A climate scientist visualized the Lone Star State's average annual temperatures. It shows that Texas (which, again – we've covered – is hot) is getting hotter.

The warnings come with unsettling regularity:

Climate change threatens 1 million plant and animal species.

Warmer oceans could lose one-sixth of their fish and other marine life by the end of the century.

According to calculations, Only 2016, 2017 and 2015 were warmer than last year, with only small differences among them.
Associated Press

While Earth was a tad cooler last year than the last couple of years, it still was the fourth warmest on record, a new analysis shows.

With the partial U.S. government shutdown, federal agency calculations for last year's temperatures are delayed. But independent scientists at Berkeley Earth calculate that last year's average temperature was 58.93 degrees.

In 2018, Americans watched as California towns were incinerated by fires, hurricanes devastated coastal communities and a government report sounded the alarm about the impacts of a changing climate.

All those factors contributed to significant changes in perceptions of global warming in the U.S., according to the authors of a new public opinion survey.

The proportion of Americans who said global warming is "personally important" to them jumped from 63 percent to 72 percent from March to December of last year.

It is "extremely likely" that human activities are the "dominant cause" of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers.

The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are "the warmest in the history of modern civilization." The global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over that period. Greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture are by far the biggest contributor to warming.

Editor's note, Aug. 10: An earlier version of this story said the draft climate report had been leaked by The New York Times, which has since updated its coverage to reflect that a version of the report was made available by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January.


A draft government report on climate says the U.S. is already experiencing the consequences of global warming. The findings sharply contrast with statements by President Trump and some members of his Cabinet, who have sought to downplay the changing climate.

This week has been a dizzying one for people working to understand and combat global warming.

Tweets on climate change from the account of the Badlands National Park were deleted. Plans to scrub climate information from Environmental Protection Agency websites were walked back by the Trump administration. Then, news broke that the budget for the EPA may be cut by $1 billion dollars.

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you're not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

STEPHANIE KUO

ExxonMobil shareholders in Dallas once again failed to pass several resolutions that would force the oil giant to address climate change. The Irving-based company has been under scrutiny for how it’s handled environmental issues.  And while environmentalists are disappointed, they're not surprised.

Texas prison officials are changing the way they do executions due to a drug shortage.