Thousands of scientists sound the alarm again on climate emergency
Herndon, Virginia - Some two years after more than 10,000 scientists from around 150 countries jointly declared a global climate emergency, they have now reiterated it and called for immediate changes.
These changes are more urgent than ever to protect life on Earth, the scientists say in an article published on Wednesday in the journal BioScience.
The original 11,000 scientists have been joined by more than 2,800 signatories.
Since the original declaration of the climate emergency in 2019, numerous events such as flooding disasters, forest fires, and heatwaves have made clear the consequences of simply carrying on as before on Earth, it said.
The year 2020, for example, was the second hottest since records began, while, this April, the carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth's atmosphere was higher than at any time since measurements began.
Among other things, the researchers call for a foreseeable end to the use of fossil fuels and better protection of biodiversity.
Same challeges remain two years after first appeal
Philip Duffy, co-author of the study and executive director of the Woodwell Climate Research Center in the US state of Massachusetts, said: "The extreme climate events and patterns that we've witnessed over the last several years - not to mention the last several weeks - highlight the heightened urgency with which we must address the climate crisis," said
"There is growing evidence we are getting close to or have already gone beyond tipping points associated with important parts of the Earth system, including warm water coral reefs, the Amazon rain forest and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets," added William Ripple, a lead author of the study and professor of ecology at Oregon State University.
"We need to quickly change how we're doing things, and new climate policies should be part of Covid-19 recovery plans wherever possible," Ripple said.
The scientists had already warned in 2019 that if human behavior leading to greenhouse gas emissions and other factors driving climate change did not change fundamentally and persistently, untold human suffering would be unpreventable.
Two years earlier, scientists had already initiated a similar contribution.
Cover photo: 123RF/mycola