In Peru’s Amazon jungle with biologist Miles Silman. Photo by Ken Feeley.
My reporting on the impact of climate change on tropical forests such as those in Peru’s Amazon Basin was sponsored in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, D.C. This invaluable organization makes it possible for freelance foreign correspondents to cover important stories around the world that otherwise would go unreported. Each Pulitzer reporter is asked to produce a Meet the Journalist video that explains his or her project.
My video is here, produced by Meghan Dhaliwal of the Pulitzer Center.
This broad-leafed plant in the rubiaceae, or coffee, family was spotted at 8,000 feet elevation in the Amazon basin of the Peruvian Andes. Such species are not normally seen at such high elevations. Photograph by Justin Catanoso
I wrote this story for National Geographic NewsWatch following news coverage of a UN report that spelled out how global warming is endangering future food supplies.
Excerpt: “As I learned in my reporting last summer, (2013) in temperate or cold climates, trees and plants are adapted to wide temperature ranges and can migrate to latitudes for many miles north to stay in their ecological comfort zones. In the tropics, where most of the world’s biodiversity exists, trees and plants live in extremely narrow temperature ranges. To survive, they will need to reproduce in higher altitudes where space is far more limited and upslope soils might not be accommodating – hence the possible threat to coffee growing in the future.”