by: Capella Tucker, September 14, 2006 12:09:00 am
The Environment Texas report is called "Feeling the Heat." Field Associate Christian Alexander says the study gathered data from 255 weather stations nationwide. Sixteen were in Texas.
"And what we found was for the state of Texas between 2000 and 2005 the average temperature was 3.1 degrees F above the century average for the last century in Texas. In Houston for the last, 2000 to 2005, the temperature increase average was one degree F above the 30 year period before that."
Environment Texas is supporting federal legislation introduced by California Representative Henry Waxman to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Rice University Professor Andrea Droxler works in the Earth Science Department. He says the data showing global warming are not part of the earth's normal cycle, but rather from human activity. Droxler says a number to consider is the amount of carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere. He says the normal cycle for Earth is to go from 180 to 280 parts carbon dioxide per million. Droxler says Earth's atmosphere now has exceeded that cycle.
"We have reached a level of 380 part per million. So 150 years we have gone from 280 to 380, so we have reached this 100 parts per million increase in last 150 years."
Droxler says researchers are able to determine carbon dioxide levels of the past by drilling into ice and measuring the contents of air bubbles that are found.The Safe Climate Act has been referred to congressional committees. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate. Both bills have goals of reducing green house gas emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.