San Antonio Meteorologists talk climate change
Published: January 16, 2013
How is Texas likely to be impacted?
Well, Texas is a big state with a number of climatic regions. Trying to pinpoint what specifically will happen across the state is a tough call. Let's take a look at some general scenarios. Texas has about 3,000 miles of coastline if you count all the islands, bays, and river mouths. We have an incredible number of people living along the Texas coast. Sea-level rises will impact these areas. Add a tropical system and storm surges become a great concern.
The current drought has been hard on Texas; certainly one of the worst since the drought of the 1950s. A continuation of drought conditions will impact the area in many ways from infrastructure, business, agriculture, and more, as water becomes a scarce item. Air quality is another area of concern, with ozone levels inching upward as weather patterns hold the particulate matter in place. Warm winter seasons leave an abundance of insects and other pests that can be a factor in transmitting diseases or destroying what crops can grow.
Climate change can have many faces, without talking about hurricanes, tornadoes and such. Texas is a big place and a big target for its impacts.
Do you think there's a reason to mention climate change when reporting extreme weather conditions or events?
It is difficult to say with any certainty that climate change caused any one of a number of extreme events, like an EF5 tornado or a category 5 hurricane. Climate and the atmosphere are so complex and dynamic that the best we can do is look at trends. Again, we have to look at the science. Scientists have gotten better at looking at all the variables to go into making weather events. The bottom line is that while we cannot connect climate change to any single event, we can also not discount the fact that climate change is making an impact on them.”