Issue

Environment and Climate Change

Earth's average temperature has risen approximately one degree Fahrenheit in the last 50 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.

Environment and Climate Change brings together reporting from Pulitzer Center grantees on the abilities of communities in diverse regions to bounce back and adapt to the impacts of climate change: One highlight includes in-depth reporting by Nathaniel Rich on the response to global warming during the 1979-1989 decade—an article that takes up the entire issue of The New York Times Magazine. 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 stories 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. How does the melting Arctic ice cap affect our lives? How do overfishing and exploitation of mineral resources beneath the ocean’s surface jeopardize food sources need to sustain the planet’s ever-expanding population?

As part of the Pulitzer Center's long-term support for climate change reporting, the Rainforest Journalism Fund was established to provide capacity for local journalists operating in the rainforest regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as international journalists reporting from those regions. The Fund represents a major investment in global environmental and climate reporting, with plans to support nearly 200 original reporting projects along with annual regional conferences designed to raise the level of reporting on global rainforest issues such as deforestation and climate change.

 

Environment and Climate Change

How Cape Town Defeated Day Zero—for Now

Reporting from Cape Town, South Africa, Jacqueline Flynn explores the reality of living with Level 6 water restrictions and the little changes that made the biggest difference for Capetonians during the water crisis.

Cape Town Water Crisis: A Timeline

What were the first signs of a looming water crisis in Cape Town? What restrictions were placed on residents? And how did Capetonians reduce their water consumption?

Cape Town: Signs of the Water Crisis

For months, street corners, buildings, and bathroom mirrors served as constant reminders for Capetonians of the looming threat of the water crisis and suggested new ways to save water.

The Unseen Reality of Air Pollution

The most dangerous effects of air pollution often go unseen. The city of London has implemented numerous measures to mitigate rising air pollution. But, has it done enough?

Bangladesh: Easy Like Water

In Bangla, "easy like water" translates roughly as "piece of cake." The irony is that in Bangladesh -- with 150 million people in a country the size of Iowa, water poses a relentless threat. With increasingly violent cyclones and accelerating glacier melt upstream, flooding may create 20 million Bangladeshi...

The Next Wave: Climate Refugees in the South Pacific

Climate change is threatening to displace 2,500 inhabitants of the Carteret Atoll in the South Pacific. Their stories are the main topic explored in the Academy Award®-nominated film Sun Come Up.

Water Wars: Ethiopia and Kenya

In Ethiopia and Kenya, dry seasons grow longer and tribal conflict over access to water is on the rise, exacerbated by the proliferation of arms from Somalia. With clean water access scarce, the burden of securing a daily water supply has become a daunting task.

Peru's Petroleum Play: Amazon Oil and Politics

Oil and gas finds are turning the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains and the adjacent Amazonian lowlands of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia into a hydrocarbon hotspot.

Alaska

Reporter Michelle Nijhuis and photographer Jeffrey Barbee spent 10 days on the Juneau Icefield following a research team led by veteran glaciologist Maynard Miller. Miller's half-century commitment to research and teaching on the icefield has given him a rare first-hand perspective on climate change. He has watched the Juneau...