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

Big Problems for Smallest Great Lake: More Precipitation, Warmer Temperatures and Controversial Regulation Plan Upend Life Along Lake Ontario

Tom Frank was at his restaurant when a brimming Lake Ontario surged onto the back patio. Frank’s restaurant was one of many businesses and homes affected in an upstate New York town, where flooding is the most conspicuous example of how a changing climate is having a profound effect on Lake Ontario.

The Toxic Metal in the Shadow of the Gold Industry

Two commodities that are frequently taken over illegally are gold and mercury, and in the Guiana Shield region, one does not go without the other. Mercury has grave impacts on human health and the environment, but efforts so far to curtail its use in the gold industry have only pushed supply chains underground. 

Land of the Dammed

“Land of the Dammed” will follow the story of the Chilean village of Caimanes and its decades long fight against the nearby El Mauro, one of the largest toxic waste tailings dams in the world.

The Jersey Shore, A Century After Sandy

Dr. Stewart Farrell and other coastal scientists have been warning that much of the iconic Jersey Shore will be erased by sea-level rise and storms over the next century. But is anyone listening?

Cambodia Burning

In the heart of South East Asia, fires and chainsaws are clearing Cambodia’s last fragments of forest. Logging, agriculture, and rubber plantations are pushing forests to the edge of existence.

10 Lesson Plans to Celebrate Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, we've compiled our top ten lesson plans that feature reporting on how communities around the world are responding to diverse environmental issues.

Exotic Pets and Impacts on the Food Chain

Students will be able to describe the impacts of removing exotic animals from their native environment, including impacts on the food chain, using details from reporting by Sean Gallagher. Within...