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

Vero: The Midwife of the Heart of the Amazon (Spanish)

This young Indigenous woman from Ecuador helps the women in her Achuar community give birth. Considered a sacred act, women traditionally gave birth alone in the jungle. This is the seventh in the series, "Rainforest Defenders," which shows leaders fighting to protect the forest.

Last of the Old Growth Loggers

Alaska's Native corporations preserved their cultures by logging their ancient forests. Can they lead the way to conserving what's left?

Waste in Georgia

Rising seas pose a serious threat to septic and sewer systems, putting our water at risk of contamination. This project looks at the risks and possible solutions for these problems in Coastal Georgia.

A Deadly Shade of Green

Canada wants to supply New England with cheap, "clean" hydropower. But the region's mega-dams carry hidden costs to Inuit culture, the environment, and even the climate.

Climate Change: Great Lakes, High Stakes

Climate change is not only causing a crisis for our oceans and coasts, but it is also having a profound impact on the Great Lakes region. The Tribune visits each lake to examine the consequences.

Meet the Journalist: Alex MacLean

Aerial photographer Alex MacLean addresses the impact of sea-level rise, and current strategies to mitigate it, by capturing images of shoreline vulnerability, catastrophic damage, and strategies for resilience along the coast from Maine to Texas.

Congress Heights' Middle Schoolers Explore Journalism at USA Today

Students from Center City Public Charter School attend a three-day workshop inspired by the award-winning series ‘Pumped Dry'—learning about groundwater depletion, talking to the journalists behind the project and then tour USA Today's newsroom.