Published July 25, 2011
Dan Grossman appeared on PBS NewsHour to discuss how changing climate affects the nomadic herders in northern Mongolia. Rising temperatures and unpredictable precipitation patterns threaten the way of life of herders who make up nearly half of the country's population. NewsHour's Lauren Knapp and Hari Sreenivasan describe Grossman's work:
The East Asian nation of Mongolia is home to about 3 million people, half of whom make their living off of livestock.
Since 1960, Mongolia's average temperature has increased 4.1 degrees -- a change faster than the global average. The uptick has had an impact on herders living close to the land.
Science and environment journalist Daniel Grossman, who has filed pieces for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and NPR among others, recently returned from a trip to two regions of Mongolia. He followed American researcher Clyde Goulden in the northern region of the country near the large Lake Hovsgol.
For the past 15 years, Goulden has been talking to herders who have been noticing changes in rain and wind patterns. He's working on a survey of herders in the region who have been complaining of increased winds and changes in rain patterns that are detrimental to the growth of the grasses that feed their herds.
Grossman also traveled to Mongolia's south, where the Gobi Desert offers a very different kind of climate. There, he followed a pair of biologists who are hoping to mitigate the sandstorms that plague the area. The Mongolian and Korean team began planting rows of trees in the desert to help keep soil in place and block the wind from blowing sand.