2018 Feature, Small Newsroom finalist

Hot Spots



Feature, Small Newsroom


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About the Project

“It could have been the edge of the Sahara Desert or even Death Valley, but it was the remains of a large orchard in the hills above the city of Murcia in southern Spain last year.”

So begins “Hot Spots” — where John Vidal, who served as environment editor of The Guardian for 27 years, takes a global look at where the impacts of climate change will be the greatest — from Spain to Malawi to the Philippines to New York.

“The evidence for the onset of climate change is compelling,” Vidal writes. “But who and where is it hitting the hardest? How fast will it come to Africa, or the U.S.? What will be its impact on tropical cities, forests or farming? On the poor, or the old? When it comes to details, much is uncertain.”

Through on-the-ground reporting and analysis of numerous scientific models, Vidal’s feature serves as a guidepost for anyone interested in the future of the people on this planet as climate change begins impacting us today.

Around the world, climate change is impacting our lives in real-time. But as Vidal shows, as the planet warms, “hot spots” are emerging across the globe.

Vidal highlighted seven of these climate hot spots — places where temperature is expected to continue rising faster and higher than average, biophysical changes are predicted to be more severe, and human populations and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable.

Each hot spot forms a separate chapter and is accompanied by photos, illustrations, videos, charts, number callouts and other complementary content that illustrates and expands on the narrative. These design assets — along with “social cards” featuring quotes from the story — were used as stand-alone pieces on social media to further engage readers in a discussion about climate change impacts.

For each location, Vidal provides the reader with a sense of place, explores the climate impacts it is experiencing — and is expected to experience — and discusses adaptation measures completed or planned.

Taken as a whole, this engaging, in-depth story brings to life climate impacts happening right now across the globe.