State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate News Roundup: Week of 3/04

Climate Change May Kill OFF 900 Bird Species, Treehugger, Mar 7

Scientists say climate change is likely to drive up to 900 bird species into extinction by the end of the century unless additional conservation measures are taken. Tropical bird species are particularly vulnerable because they are adapted to living in a stable climate, where temperatures do not vary wildly throughout the year, according to Çağan Şekercioğlu of the University of Utah, the lead author of “The effects of climate change on tropical birds,” a scientific review of some 200 separate studies published recently in the journal Biological Conservation.

Climate Solutions Empower Women and Help the Planet, American Progress, Mar 8

International Women’s Day celebrates the vital roles of women in society and the global progress made toward gender parity. Not only will unabated climate change threaten the livelihood of women more than men, but programs to develop sustainable energy will have immediate positive opportunities in enhancing and promoting the welfare of women around the world. By ensuring that women have equal access to resources and land rights and that there is representative participation in land governance and decision-making, we can improve food security and economic growth, for example.

‘SimCity’ game rebuilt for age of climate change, AFP, Mar 8

A new version of the city-building computer game that factors in real-world consequences of energy choices has won endorsements from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and the director of the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Along with rich 3-D graphics, the game will have a new simulation engine that enhances its realism and extends ramifications of urban design decisions past borders to affect neighboring cities. “In ‘SimCity’ resources are finite, you struggle with decisions people are struggling with today in the real world and your decisions can have a global impact,” said Lucy Bradshaw of Maxis, which will have a fresh SimCity title ready in 2013.

Pacific nation may buy Fiji land as climate refuge, Associated Press, Mar 9

Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering moving the populace to Fiji. Kiribati President Anote Tong told The Associated Press on Friday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could be insurance for Kiribati’s entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave. Kiribati, which straddles the equator near the international date line, has found itself at the leading edge of the debate on climate change because many of its atolls rise just a few feet above sea level.

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