NEW YORK — As world leaders gather for key climate talks here, small island nations Monday warned they were running out of time with rising seas threatening to wipe them off the map.
Spread across the Earth's oceans, the planet's tiniest members grouped together in the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) are hoping to make their voices heard 100 days before UN-hosted climate talks in Copenhagen.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon and former British prime minister Tony Blair also urged governments around the world to publicly commit themselves to tackling global warming as they opened New York Climate Week.
"We need a commitment for a fair deal in Copenhagen," Ban said.
Climate negotiators have spent the last two years working toward a make-or-break summit in Copenhagen this December, expected to ink new targets for global emissions beyond 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...