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

Risky Crossing: The Perils of Climate Migration

A worsening climate is destroying how people farm, fish, and forage across Asia. No longer able to scratch a living from the land, the continent’s poorest are increasingly seeking work abroad — and finding themselves ever more vulnerable to the dangers that follow.

The Coming Coconut Crisis

While coconut farming presents several environmental advantages in comparison to palm farming, coconut farmers in the Philippines and Indonesia face production and financial barriers to producing the crop.

The Mazahua and Mexico's Water Crisis

How does climate change disrupt a vulnerable community's access to water? Meg Vatterott reports on the effect of Mexico City's water crisis on the Mazahua indigenous community.

Breathtaking: Gasping for Air Across the Globe

Airborne particles—sometimes much smaller than the width of a human hair—are not just contributing to climate change. They are a leading driver of serious illness the world over.

A Frigid Current and a Heroic Expedition

A ship enters punishing seas. A plane skims above a heaving ocean. All to determine the origins of the coldest, densest water of the North Atlantic—which fuels the ocean's global circulation system.

Losing Earth

Thirty years ago, we could have saved the planet. The world was ready to act. But we failed to do what was necessary to avoid a catastrophe.

Cape Town's Water Crisis

After three years of severe drought, Cape Town’s water supply is at the brink of failure. How do leaders and residents respond to an era of unreliable water?

Meet Students From Bangladesh

Students at solar-powered school boats along the Atrai River in northwestern Bangladesh talk about their studies, ambitions and daily life in an area marked by monsoons, water and sanitation challenges and one of the most densely populated regions on earth.

Meet Jon Sawyer

Jon Sawyer is founding director of the Pulitzer Center. His assignments have taken him to some five dozen countries, with special projects ranging from southern Africa, Cuba and Haiti to Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China.