Lakes Rising: A Climate Change Mystery in the Caribbean


Image by Jacob Kushner. Haiti, 2016. Add this image to a lesson

Pulitzer Center grantee Jacob Kushner spoke at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about his Pulitzer Center-supported feature for National Geographic on the mysteriously rising Caribbean lakes in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

During the past 10 years, the surface of Lake Azuei in Haiti and Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic rose 10 meters, and nobody knows why. These changes caused entire towns to sink beneath the water’s surface.

The Dominican Republic and Haiti, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, have seen natural disasters before–earthquakes, hurricanes, floods–but nothing like this. Experts from the United Nations, a French NGO, a Dominican university, a New York college and others have looked for clues to explain the cause behind the rise of these lakes. Some hypothesize the phenomenon is related to climate change, but the evidence is counterintuitive: Unlike ocean levels…

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