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

China's Growing Sands: An Interview with Sean Gallagher

In April 2009, British photojournalist Sean Gallagher traveled 4000km through Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu and Xinjiang documenting China's struggle with desertification. An exhibit of "China's Growing Sands" will be opening on July 4, at 6pm at Café Zarah, on 42 Gulou Dongdajie (8403 9807) and will run through August 5. The opening, which is open to all, will include a 15-minute multimedia presentation by Gallagher. The Beijinger asked Gallagher a few questions about his work:

What inspired you to take on this project?

Desert Playground

The Shapotou desert resort is the jewel in the tourism crown for Ningxia, China's poorest province. Lying on the edges of the Tengger desert, it is one of the most dramatic natural settings in all of China, situated at the convergence of the desert, the Yellow River and the "Fragrant Mountain" Range". Thousands of domestic tourists descend upon Shapotou each year to enjoy the natural scenery and partake in various activities on and around the 100-metre high dunes.

The Taklamakan Desert

The Taklamakan desert is a place of such epic proportions and intimidating size that its name in the local Uygur language translates as 'You can go in, but you will never come out'. After the great Sahara desert of northern Africa, the Taklamakan is the second biggest moving –sands desert in the world. Lying hidden underneath the immense sea of sand of the Taklamakan, lies the Tarim Basin oilfield. Covering 560,000 square kilometers, it is China's fourth largest oilfield with a reserve of some 16 billion tonnes.

Disappearing Water

Sandwiched unforgivingly between the Tengger desert and the Badain Jaran desert, surface water has long since dried up in the dry and ravaged Minqin Oasis in Gansu Province. In the past two decades, the area has become a national symbol for China's fight against disappearing water as underground water levels have dropped by 15 meters over the past 50 years and approximately 50 percent of the area has turned into desert. Misuse of the remaining water is having worrying consequences for the region, threatening the survival of the people who call this land home.

Environmental Refugees

Located in the heart of China's poorest province, Ningxia, the town is surrounded on all sides by arid and unproductive land, however for 200,000 'environmental refugees' this harsh place is now home.