Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cities Lead on Climate Problems, and Actions

New Report Analyzes Urban Areas Across the World..

Cities are emerging as most threatened by climate change, and as the first responders to it, says a new international report. The report, led by researchers at Columbia University and the City University of New York (CUNY), is the most comprehensive study to date detailing the risks cities face, and how they are preparing for impacts such as increased heat waves, drought and rising sea level. Authors from 50 cities looked at urban areas in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and North America, doing in-depth analyses of Athens, Dakar, Delhi, Harare, Kingston, London, Melbourne, New York, São Paulo, Shanghai, Tokyo and Toronto.

Cities are now home to half the world’s population, the authors note. “This is a groundbreaking study that should serve as a wake-up call about the need to make cities a key focus of global climate change research and response efforts,” said Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climate impacts scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Center for Climate Systems Research, part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, who is one of the coeditors. Published by Cambridge University Press, the report was convened by the Urban Climate Change Research Network, a global coalition of researchers specializing in climate change from an urban perspective. The initiative was founded at the Earth Institute in 2007.
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