Experts explain climate change in Texas winter storm aftermath

9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago Monday, February 22 2021 Feb 22, 2021 February 22, 2021 6:44 AM February 22, 2021 in News - Local

Most of the Rio Grande Valley now has power and lights, but last week’s winter storm has left some people concerned about the future of the climate.

Some climate scientists are saying the culprit of the severe winter storm is climate change.

“So, having big winter storms like this, is absolutely in line and a part of what climate change is doing,” said Dr. Christopher Gabler with the UTRGV School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences.

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However, some say the weather may not be entirely due to climate change, pointing to other freezes the Valley has seen in the past. “What we saw last week is unusual, but not unprecedented,” said Channel 5 News and Azteca Valle Meteorologist Andrew Chung. “We had a freeze in the Valley back in 1983, and also a freeze in 1989. So, was last week's freeze a result of, or made worse by climate change? It's really hard to tell.”

Dr. Gabler said that natural weather conditions can allow for drop in temperatures, but the randomness and volatility is all climate change.

“It also means that our storm events are bigger, and that’s what’s happening now,” Gabler said.

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A U.N. science report released this month reported that 1 out of 8 million species are at danger for extinction, and that 9 million people die a year from pollution.

Dr. Gabler saying the Valley is paying the price.

“Those insurance rates are higher because of increased storms, and flood insurance is more expensive because of sea level rise,” Gabler said. “These are things we’re already paying for.”

Dr. Gabler says one way forward is prioritizing renewable energy, pointing to Antarctica’s use of wind turbines. Dr. Gabler says one of the best things you can do is talk about climate change with others, and how people are affected.

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