Over 11,000 scientists from across the world warned that the planet is facing a 'climate emergency' and the world should take immediate action to 'avert untold sufferings due to climate crisis'. A study published by a journal Bioscience on Tuesday cited an increase in the human livestock population, meat production, world gross domestic product, air travel, fossil fuel consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions as factors that contribute to the crisis. The study was spearheaded by ecologists Bill Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University along with a group of scientists from 153 countries.
The study, called the World Scientists warning of a climate emergency, marks the first time a large group of scientists has formally come out in favor of labeling climate change an 'emergency'. The conclusions of the study are based on a set of easy to understand indicators that show human influence on climate. The results are charts that are compared with climate graphics presented by the IPCC that reveals that the world is headed towards a climate crisis.
Maria Abate, a signatory of the scientists' warning and a biology professor at Simmons College in Boston, said that she hopes the paper will raise awareness. "Like other organisms we are not adapted to recognize far-reaching environmental threats beyond our immediate surroundings," she was quoted as saying by international media. "The reported vital signs of our global activity and climate responses give us a tangible, evidence-based report card that I hope will help our culture to develop a broader awareness more quickly to slow this climate crisis," she added.
The study also encourages consumption of plant-based foods and cultivation of agricultural practices that increase the amount of carbon the soils absorb. "This is a document that establishes a clear record of the broad consensus among most scientists active at this point in history that the climate crisis is real, and is a major, even existential, threat to human societies, human well-being, and biodiversity," said Jesse Bellemare, an associate professor of biology at Smith College who is a signatory of the study's emergency declaration speaking to international media. The report also calls for Global change in economies and encourage systems that contribute to long term sustainability and reducing inequality to be prioritised over growing wealth, as measured by gross domestic product.
Earlier, a report released by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change described how global warming is already altering the Earth's climate and ecosystems from magnifying heatwaves and droughts to the super changing the tropical cyclones. Another 'Fifth Assessment Report' by the UN indicates global rise in sea level. It also said that from 1880 to 2012, the average global temperature increased by 0.85°C. "There is alarming evidence that important tipping points, leading to irreversible changes in major ecosystems and the planetary climate system, may already have been reached or passed," says the report.