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

Desertification: On the Trail of Abandoned Cities

There are some places in the world where you don't want to get a flat tire: a 2 1/2-hour drive on dirt tracks into the middle of the desert, with no cell phone coverage and no hint of civilization, is one of them. So when we got our second flat tire, we started to worry a little. We were suddenly a wheel short and a long way from help.

From the Himalayan Hot Zone

Imagine a collaboration between Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Afghanistan. It sounds nearly impossible, but they all seek help to solve a common problem: The Himalayas are changing and everyone fears the consequences.

Nepal: Drastic Moves Against Urbanization

The streets of Kathmandu yesterday looked like a set of a western movie just before the high noon showdown — shuttered and quiet at midday in the June heat. The reason: Nepal's dominant ethnic group had called for a general strike to press for their demand to declare Kathmandu an autonomous region.

Science vs. The Desert

Lying in the second lowest depression in the world, at 154 metres below sea level, the Turpan desert botanical garden is China's largest and is at the centre of the race to research and study the effects of desertification and how it can be stopped. By growing and cultivating sand-fixing plants, the researchers of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences are attempting to find ways in which productivity can be restored to arid land and investigate the success of plants to stop moving deserts in their tracks.

The Desertification Train

Winding its way through China's northern provinces of Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu and Xinjiang the 'desertification train' travels 4000 kilometers from Beijing in the east of the country to the western borders with countries such as Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Passengers can witness first hand the severity of desertification in China, just by looking out of their carriage window.