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

A Treacherous Trek to the Crater's Edge

"Just breathe," I comforted myself as I shuffled slowly through the dusty gravel. "One breath with each step," I repeated raggedly as 50 pounds of brackish water sloshed rhythmically against the sides of the muddy yellow jerrycan strapped to my back.

Sweat rolled down my hairline, dropped from my forehead and splashed in a shape like raindrops on the gray slate beneath me. To keep from slipping, I tried to follow exactly in the footsteps of the cracked plastic sandals in front of me.

Museveni's Dams a Threat to Lake Victoria

As the first rays of sunlight streak into Lake Victoria, Idi Otwoma and his two sons leave their village, pick up their nets and board their old wooden boat for the port of Kisumu.

The sales from his catch put bread on the table for his family of two wives, eight children and nine grandchildren.

But in the last few years, the seasoned fisherman has barely caught enough fish to feed his family. The catch is dwindling and this is becoming a tall order for Idi and his sons.

Kenya's Elephant Problem

Kenyan farmers are troubled by their newest neighbors — elephants. A growing elephant population is destroying crops and creating violent confrontations. Jessica Partnow reports on a plan to reign in the pachyderms.

Drought Spurs Resource Wars

On a warm January afternoon in southern Ethiopia, thousands of ill-tempered livestock stand in groups with the pastoralists who have guided them for dozens of miles to drink. The animals dot an expansive field of Acacia trees, severed bits and pieces of dead grass and dust.

Earlier in the day thousands of young goats, sheep and calves took turns to have their fill of water. And the show will not end with the cattle; camels are still waiting in line. For being the best able to resist drought, now they will be last.

Kenya and Ethiopia: The Most Dangerous Men in Kenya

The first thing I thought of when I saw the scorched whitewash, shattered windows and collapsing skeletons of businesses in Kisumu's downtown was my father's furniture store in Seattle.

Poking through the remains of doctors' offices, electronics shops and grocery stores — plastic vials and discarded packaging cracking and rustling beneath my sneakers — I imagined the nights of heartbreak the owners of these business lived through in the anarchic weeks following Kenya's most recent elections.