Possibly one of the most tragic outcomes that may result from climate change is the extinction of an entire nation’s culture and homeland. As the United Nations discussed the threat that global warming poses to the security of nations, Afelee Pita, an ambassador from the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, was there to represent his country.

Tuvalu may be one of the first nations whose way of life could disappear as a result of the actions (or in this case, the lack of action) of other countries. NPR is covering this story as part of their year-long Climate Connections series. Here’s a quote from the piece:

“We face many threats associated with climate change,” Pita said to the U.N. “Ocean warming is changing the very nature of our island nation. Slowly our coral reefs are dying through coral bleaching. We are witnessing changes to fish stocks. And we face the increasing threat of more severe cyclones. With the highest (land) point of four meters above sea level, the threat of more cyclones is extremely disturbing.”

Listen to the entire story on NPR.org.

And check out a small Grist slideshow of photos taken by Gary Braasch in 2005.

Update [2007-6-12 13:1:43 by Chris Schults]: NPR also has a related piece about the islands of Fiji.