Issue

Climate Change

Earth's average temperature has risen approximately one degree Fahrenheit in the last fifty years. By the end of this century, it will be several degrees higher, according to the latest climate research.

But global warming is doing more than simply making things a little warmer. It's changing rainfall, causing heat waves, and making sea level rise, all of which create human suffering.

Climate Change brings together reporting from Pulitzer Center grantees on the abilities of communities in diverse regions to bounce back and adapt to impacts of climate change: One highlight includes in-depth reporting on global warming in France, southern Africa, Bangladesh, and India, produced by Daniel Grossman in partnership with WBUR.

Our journalists investigate climate change in the Arctic—the effects on indigenous communities, the destruction of the fragile natural environment, and the conflict between humans and polar bears. One interactive, award-winning multimedia project, "Sea Change," looks at ocean acidification, its impact on fishing, people's livelihoods, and food security. The documentary "Easy Like Water" features a solar-powered school boat in Bangladesh, where flooding may create 20 million "climate refugees" by mid-century.

Other topics covered here range from the future of the residents of Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in the Pacific, to the biological diversity of the rainforest in Peru, and the psychological effects of climate change on the inhabitants of Australia and Fiji.

 

Climate Change

Heat of the Moment: Sea Level Rise (Part 2)

As global warming melts the world's ice, and heats the oceans, sea levels are on the rise. Although it may take decades for some coastal areas to begin to feel the effects, few places on Earth are as threatened right now as the low-lying coastlines off the vast Bay of Bengal, where the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra Rivers meet the Indian Ocean.

Heat of the Moment: Heat Waves (Part 1)

On August 5th, 2003, Los Angeles trial lawyer Alvin Michaelson and his wife arrived in Paris for vacation. Before long they were having dinner at a swanky bistro. Michaelson says it was "clearly hot, very humid" when he arrived and, as he noted, air conditioning is not common in Paris. His restaurant certainly had none. Michaelson didn't realize it but he had landed near the start of what scientists now say was the worst European heat wave in at least 500 years. The temperature had climbed to 99 degrees and had failed to cool off at night.

Climate Change, Drought, Hope in Southern Africa

Makuleke, a village of small mud-walled houses with tin roofs in South Africa's Limpopo province, is a dry place in a dry land. Rainfall there, near the country's border with Zimbabwe, is low by most standards; about the same as rainfall in Montana.

Philemon Makamu, a farmer in Makuleke, gestures toward a garden planted in corn, pumpkin, watermelon and peanuts. His friend Reckson Josini squats to the ground to grasp a corn stalk gingerly in his hands. "You can see how it suffers," say Makamu.

Raising Bangladesh

Some of the countries most at risk from climate change are low-lying nations. And chief among them is the South Asian country of Bangladesh. Rising seas threaten to inundate this already disaster-prone land. But Bangladesh is experimenting with new ways to protect itself. One possible solution uses floods to prevent floods. It’s an idea that was forced on the government in a revolt by desperate farmers. Reporter Daniel Grossman has our story.

Foreign Exchange Episode Dedicated to Water Issues

Last November Foreign Exchange aired a special edition, focusing on the nearly 1 billion people around the world who lack access to clean water and sanitation. The host, Daljit Dhaliwal, highlighted Pulitzer Center's work on water issues in east Africa and how those reports were then used to frame an interactive web portal to engage the public, and in particular students and educators, throughout the world.

Editing on the Road Helps Focus Long Stories

I returned from my six weeks of travel with about 2,500 images; I have never been a prolific shooter, probably because I started out shooting slide film and knowing the cost of each frame. Throughout my trip, I made a point of downloading and categorizing my images as I made them. To keep all the files in order, I created folders for each location I visited with RAW and JPEG sub-folders.