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

Bangladesh: Climate Change is a Hot Story Here

Climate change is front page news in Bangladesh on a near-daily basis, and the English-language newspaper The Daily Star is averaging two to three articles per day on the subject. As Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina traveled to Geneva this week to attend the World Climate Conference-3, coverage has focused on her trip. But there is also a sense in Bangladesh that climate change is putting the country on the international map, so to speak, and Bangladeshis are very much interested in getting that recognition.

Bangladesh: Climate Migrants

Thursday, at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, Bangladesh's prime minister called for assistance from the international community to help the country adapt to the impacts of climate change, which, she said, could necessitate the relocation of 20 million Bangladeshis by 2050.

Consequences as Himalayan Glaciers Melt

Climate change is melting the glaciers of the world's highest mountains, affecting millions downstream.

See video as it originally ran at Time.

Bangladesh: Crisis in Slow Motion

Bangladesh is a massive river delta, and river erosion is taking more than 100 sq. km. of land per year. According to local officials, it displaces more than 100,000 riverside residents per year, and the pace is accelerating, fed by melting glaciers and monsoons upstream. We visited the massive Jamuna River near Sirajganj in the northwest corner of the country and saw where large chunks of the dike and roadway had collapsed just a few weeks earlier.

Bangladesh: First Impression of "Easy Like Water"

It is monsoon season in Bangladesh, making the delicate balance between water and land more tenuous than ever. It was raining heavily when we disembarked from the ferry on Bhola Island and it continued to rain for much of the day. South of Dhaka some 205 km. (or 11 hours by ferry), Bhola is caught between the rising saltwater of the Bay of Bengal to the south and the ominous churning of the Meghna River to the east.

100 Days to Copenhagen

As the world looks towards the December summit in Copenhagen, the Nepali government, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, DFID and Danish Embassy are arranging their own pre-Copenhagen negotiations for Himalayan nations. On August 31st and September 1st, representatives from the Himalayan region are scheduled to meet in Katmandu to debate and strengthen South Asian positions before the meeting in Copenhagen.

We've talked to Nepali experts on climate change and it's impact on South Asia: