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Resource ID: #26541
Few subjects in the news stir as much controversy as climate change. In the U.S., the threat of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the contribution of human activity to that threat, and even whether the climate is changing at all are fiercely debated and politically polarizing. Inconclusive science only further polarizes the issue. Lost in all the vitriol is one aspect of a changing environment that is not debatable: rising seas. Tidal waters worldwide have climbed an average of 8 inches over the past century. Yet the volume of journalism documenting rising seas as an immediate, observable phenomenon has been scant; more typically, news media have relied on extrapolations and predictions to create frightening scenarios far in the future. Reuters set out to change that in its series “Water's Edge: the Crisis of Rising Sea Levels.” For this yearlong project, Reuters did its own science. We collected and analyzed vast stores of hard data and combined the results with on-the-ground reporting to produce stories unique in their treatment of rising seas not as a future threat, but as a troubling reality for millions of people living along the U.S. coast.