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Baltimore's Climate Divide


September 3, 2019

Urban heat islands vividly illustrate the price humans will pay in the world’s growing climate crisis. With an abundance of concrete and little shade, they get hotter faster and stay hotter longer. And the people who live there are often sicker, poorer and less able to protect themselves.

Rising temperatures in these neighborhoods will mean more trips to the hospital for heart, kidney and lung ailments. Drugs to treat mental illness and diabetes won’t work as well. Pregnant women will give birth to children with more medical problems.

Solutions exist. But growing more trees, repairing the frayed social fabric of a neighborhood or rebuilding streets and sidewalks to reflect heat are expensive — and take time. For cities like Baltimore, the clock is ticking.

Top photo by Timothy Jacobsen, University of Maryland

CODE RED: Baltimore's Climate Divide

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FURTHER REPORTING & AWARDS: The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and Capital News Service have continued to report on these issues. Read more stories about Baltimore's climate divide here. In addition, this reporting has been the recipient of several major journalism awards.

FUNDING FOR THE PROJECT: Support for this project comes from generous grants from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the Online News Association’s Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. The ONA grant is backed by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the Rita Allen Foundation and the Scripps Howard Foundation.