The Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for a novel climate change story

County-level data shows which parts of the country have surpassed the 2-degree Celsius warming that scientists believe to be our tipping point.

May 4, 2020

The coronavirus may be the big global issue on everyone’s minds, but The Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on climate change.

“Extreme climate change in the United States: Here are America’s fastest-warming places” and related pieces about climate change won a Pulitzer for explanatory reporting. The data-driven article by reporters Steven Mufson, Chris Mooney, Juliet Eilperin and John Muyskens starts in the hamlet of Lake Hopatcong and ends in your backyard.

The Post writes: “Nationwide, trends are clear. Starting in the late 1800s, U.S. temperatures began to rise and continued slowly up through the 1930s. The nation then cooled slightly for several decades. But starting around 1970, temperatures rose steeply.”

Post reporters used county-level data to show which parts of the country have surpassed the 2-degree Celsius warming that scientists believe to be the tipping point for global warming. Reporting shows that climate wreaks havoc in different ways — from disappearing beaches to vanishing ice lakes.

Alex Mahadevan is a senior multimedia reporter at MediaWise. He can be reached at amahadevan@poynter.org or on Twitter at @AlexMahadevan. Follow MediaWise on TikTok.

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