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

Attribution Science and Impossible Heatwaves

Attribution science is connecting weather events directly to climate change. I spoke with the two researchers who found that the 2018 Japan Heatwave was only possible because of climate change.

At the Edge of a Warming World

To the millions of us who visit Cape Cod once or twice a summer, the effects of climate change can seem subtle, if we see them at all: A breach in the dunes. A crack in the pavement. But once you know how to see what is shifting, changing and washing away, it is impossible to ignore. Come with us as we explore the Cape to better understand what climate change is doing here, what it means for the future of this beloved place, and what the cost of inaction might be.

India's Depleting Rainforests

Overshadowed by the Rohingya crisis, another event is unfolding along the Indo-Myanmar border. This is the story of fast-depleting rainforests in the world's second most populous country.

The Amazon’s Climate Tipping Point

Tropical forests are tipping from carbon sink to source, threatening a crucial hedge against runaway climate change in the violent, corruption-stained Brazilian Amazon.

East Coast Sea Level Rise

There is no denying that sea level rise will result in catastrophic damage along our coastlines. Sea level rise is a relentless, visible indicator of a warming climate and it cannot be ignored.

Meet the Journalist: Sharron Lovell

Like so many of Mao’s pronouncements, it sounded simple: “The South has a lot of water; the North lacks water. So if it can be done, borrowing a little water and bringing it up might do the trick.”