Top Five Things Proving Climate Change is Already Affecting Texas
Whether you believe it or not, climate change is a thing and it is already hitting Texas.
According to the Texas Tribune, scientists have warned about climate change and how it could cause problems globally. So, here are five things that prove climate change is already here in Texas.
1. Texas is getting warmer at night.
In a 2021 report published by a state climatologist, the average highs and lows in Texas have risen 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit from 1895 to 2020. Urban areas, of course, were hit harder because asphalt and the buildings retain heat but every county in Texas showed an increase.
2. Hurricanes hitting the coast are getting stronger.
When the oceans get warmer, that fuels hurricanes and makes them stronger like the case of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Scientists concluded that Harvey could not have caused so much rainfall without the help of climate change. Harvey was the most costly storm in 2017 with $125 billion in damage.
3. Sea levels along the Texas coast are rising.
That does not bode well when the next hurricane hits Texas because rising sea levels mean more devastating storm surges. Scientists have already noticed increased tidal flood days in places like Port Isabel near Brownsville. “The places along the Texas coast with the largest rates of sea-level rise may have a doubled storm surge risk by 2050 relative to the beginning of the 20th century, purely due to relative sea-level rise itself,” said the report.
4. Extreme weather events in other parts of Texas could increase.
Winters on average are getting milder, but scientists fear global warming could cause arctic changes which would cause cold waves from the north to be more common like the one that devastated Texas in February 2021. That cold wave caused $129 billion in damages and 700 deaths. The state needs to beef up its infrastructure and the power grid so it can keep the power on during extreme cold weather events.
5. The water supply is drying up.
The drought we are experiencing and reduced snow this past winter have caused this year to compete with 2011 which was previously the driest year in Texas history. That is not good that we are heading for a drier year than the driest year in state history. But a report in 2020 from Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin scientists says we could see "megadroughts" in the second half of this century.
So we need to be paying more attention to the signs that are staring us in the face and realize that climate change is not partisan and it affects all of us.