the next day “Once in a thousand yearsStorm threw up to 15 inches of rain in Dallas, triggered Flash flood that submerged vehicles along the highway Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday the state is ready to deal with “extreme weather.”
However, he did not use the term climate change.
At a press conference with Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and other city officials, Abbott pressed reporters about the impact climate change is having on Texas, including record heat, wildfires and historic drought. was given.
“At what point do we discuss or have conversations about climate change?” the reporter asked.
“That’s why we talk all the time about what we classify as extreme weather,” Abbott replied. “We are dealing with more extreme weather patterns.”
Abbott noted that the period from April to the end of July was the hottest on record in Texas history, and the Texas Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT), which runs the state’s power grid, could not handle it. said.
“They could easily handle a dozen record usage requests,” he said.
“We are constantly monitoring what extreme weather can bring: power demand, extreme heat, extreme cold, heavy water and even drought,” the governor added. “We are always focused on issues related to extreme weather and want to be prepared for any kind of weather that could come.”
“Climate change?” asked the reporter.
Abbott did not respond.
Despite the governor’s insistence, ERCOT is not always ready to deal with extreme weather caused by climate change.
When much of Texas turned extremely cold in February 2021, power companies couldn’t keep up with surging demand.
“Approximately 4 million Texas customers, representing more than 11 million people, lost power during the Arctic explosion, as 38 of Texas’ 176 gas processing plants closed due to weather conditions. . Dallas Federal Reserve Bank reported. Hundreds of Texans died From lack of access to heat or water.
Counterintuitively, more severe cold spells are an effect of climate change.a Paper published in Science Last year, climate change led to more extreme winters in the United States as Arctic warming distorted the jet stream, a band of air flowing from west to east, and the polar vortex, a region of cold winter air near the North Pole. When the jet stream moves further south than usual, it brings unusually cold air to places like Texas, scientists say. That’s why Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were hit by unusual snow and ice storms that caused power outages in January this year.
Texas is also suffering from more extreme summer heatwaves. One day in July in her 12+ municipalities in Texas record high temperature, some reach 113 degrees. The event was caused by a ‘heat dome’, another consequence of jet stream turbulence. Essentially, this is the opposite of what happens in winter. In such cases, the jet stream moves abnormally northward.
Much of the state, like the rest of the West, is experiencing epic drought.
“Texans are experiencing their worst drought since 2011, and Texans across the state face water restrictions. Texas Tribune reported last Friday. “Almost all of Texas is experiencing severe drought, and only some areas of the state, such as El Paso, have not been ‘abnormally dry’ during this year’s particularly hot summer.”
Climate change is causing more frequent and severe droughts. This is because warm air causes more evaporation and less standing water in the snow pack.
Climate change is also partly responsible for the recent overwhelming rainfall. As climate change disrupts the hydrological cycle and pushes precipitation to extremes, causing both droughts and more intense storms, Texas has experienced a rainfall event that typically occurs only once every 1,000 years in recent weeks. Fourth state. Last month, southern Illinois received 8 to 12 inches of rain in 12 hours, record-breaking rainfall caused flash flooding in the St. Louis area, and parts of eastern Kentucky flooded after as much as 14 inches.
academic research Extreme rainfall and flooding will become more frequent and severe If climate change continues to get worse.