SHOREACRES -- A city administrator looks out at the Gulf of Mexico from this Southeast Texas town, wondering what vicious hurricanes it may spawn.In the Panhandle, a farmer tries new techniques to keep soil from turning to dust.In West Texas, ranchers watch prairie grass die. Others grow algae as water becomes too salty for other crops. And statewide, reservoirs dry up.Texas is showing the impact of climate change, some scientists say.While Gov. Rick Perry disagrees with scientists who say global warming is at least partly caused by the human release of heat-trapping gases, state agencies are adapting to weather changes that have brought a historic drought, higher temperatures and a sea level rise that contributed to nearly unprecedented sea surge during a hurricane."Are we in a cycle ... or is this something more permanent? I don't think anyone knows for certain," said Bob Avant, director of bioenergy programs at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station in College Station. "But you have to prepare."Americans are intermittently feeling the impact of climate change, from longer, hotter summers to erratic, heavier downpours to milder winters and ice melt in Alaska, according to a draft report recently released by a federal climate commission.Now Superstorm Sandy alongside a devastating drought in the Midwest and South has again turned attention to global warming.Texas is grappling with all those issues at once.The most devastating climate event to hit Texas was a drought in 2011 that cost the state $7.6 billion in agricultural losses. John Nielsen-Gammon, the state climatologist, said the dry stretch was exacerbated by temperatures that were on average nearly 5.5 degrees higher. He attributes some of that to global warming.The drought served as a wake-up call. Now the Legislature is considering establishing a $2 billion revolving loan program as part of a plan to spend $27 billion on water infrastructure over the next half-century. Farmers are testing new kinds of seeds and crops. Ranchers are buying cattle breeds that require less water. Coastal communities are rethinking development.Texas could help others understand what works and what doesn't.David Ford, who raises corn, cotton and cattle on about 10,000 acres in the northern Panhandle, said rainfall has decreased so significantly that he built a "strip till rig" and changed the way he turns his soil to try to soak up the little rain that falls. After he built his rig, dozens of his neighbors adopted the practice, he said.Avant is overseeing a project near Pecos in far West Texas. There, land once prime for cotton, alfalfa and cantaloupes is now inundated with aquifers too salty to grow most crops -- except, maybe, algae, a seaweed that some want to use for biofuel.So A&M researchers are looking for an effective and cost-efficient way to grow algae in the desert.As rains decrease, rivers, streams and some reservoirs are also becoming saltier, and this research could make those resources usable.Communities statewide are also struggling with decreasing water supplies. In El Paso, water managers are facing added heat, less rainfall, and less snowmelt from areas in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado that feed into the Rio Grande.In Central Texas, reservoirs have been so depleted by years of drought that rice farmers have been cut off from a crucial water supply for a second consecutive year.In response, researchers are creating new seed varieties that require less water, Avant said. Farmers are also moving from pivot irrigation systems to even more efficient drip systems that put water directly into the soil and have monitors that know when a crop most needs water.Shoreacres City Administrator David Stall said rising sea levels and subsidence resulted in Hurricane Ike, a Category 2 storm, flooding homes that had remained dry during more severe storms.Now Shoreacres is requiring new buildings to be set higher than required under federal flood regulations, and some populated areas destroyed by Ike will remain vacant.Stall is also working with the Nature Conservancy to rebuild natural barriers after Ike destroyed multimillion-dollar man-made protections.