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Texas Freeze Led to Release of Tons of Air Pollutants as Refineries Shut Production

The nation’s largest oil refiners released tons of air pollutants into the skies over Texas this past week, as refineries and petrochemical plants in the region scrambled to shut down production during frigid weather, Reuters reports. As the industry responded to the deadly winter storms, shutdowns led to increased flaring, or burning and releasing of gases, to prevent damage to their processing units.


Climate Threats Could Mean Big Jumps in Insurance Costs This Year

The cost of federal flood insurance will need to increase significantly in much of the country to meet the growing risks of climate change, new data suggests, creating a political headache for the Biden administration. The data shows premiums on high-risk homes would need to quadruple under the National Flood Insurance Program to reflect the risks the homes already face.

(The New York Times)

What’s On Interior’s To-Do List? A Full Plate of Public Lands Issues—and Trump Rollbacks—for Deb Haaland

Public lands, which are responsible for about a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, are set  to play a pivotal role in the Biden administration’s ambitious climate change agenda. We look at what could be the Interior Department’s priority list, starting this week with the confirmation of Deb Haaland, who could become the first Native American to lead the agency.

(Inside Climate News)

First Arctic Navigation in February Sends a Worrying Climate Signal

Melting ice in the Arctic allowed a gas tanker to sail through the Northern Sea Route in the middle of winter for the first time, showcasing just how quickly climate change is accelerating in the region, Bloomberg reports. The ship, accompanied by a nuclear-powered icebreaker, sailed back to Russia this month after carrying liquified natural gas to China.


Warmer Temperatures May Offer California Farmers a Rare Silver Lining: Fewer Frosts

Few things affect where fruit and nut trees can thrive more than temperature. Nuts and many fruit trees need enough cold hours to produce quality yields but not too much cold to kill crops—especially at the wrong time. Now, in a rare bit of good climate news for California farmers, a recent study suggests that orchards may see fewer crop-destroying frosts by midcentury.

(Inside Climate News)

Warming Trends: A Facebook Plan to Debunk Climate Myths, ‘Meltdown’ and a Sad Yeti

Facebook says it will now label posts that are about climate change as part of the platform’s efforts to combat misinformation. Scientists are criticizing countries for including burning biomass as part of their net-zero strategies. And ice cover on the Great Lakes in January was the second-lowest on record this year. That and more in the latest Warming Trends.

(Inside Climate News)

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