An international coalition headed by Oregon State University scientists stated in a recent report that the Earth's vital signs have attained the so-called “code red” and that “humanity is clearly experiencing a climate emergency.”
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The study has been reported in the BioScience journal.
In the special report, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022,” the authors have noted that 16 of 35 planetary vital signs they utilize to trail climate change are at record extremes.
The report's authors share new data demonstrating the increasing frequency of extreme heat events, rising global tree cover loss caused due to fires, and a greater commonness of the mosquito-borne dengue virus. Furthermore, they observe that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have attained 418 parts per million, which is the highest on record.
The lead authors of the report are William Ripple, a distinguished Professor in the OSU College of Forestry, and Postdoctoral Researcher Christopher Wolf, and 10 other US and global scientists are co-authors of the study.
Look at all of these heat waves, fires, floods, and massive storms. The specter of climate change is at the door and pounding hard.
William Ripple, Distinguished Professor, College of Forestry, Oregon State University
The report tracks by five years the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” reported by Ripple and colleagues in BioScience and co-signed by over 15,000 researchers in 184 countries.
Wolf stated, “As we can see by the annual surges in climate disasters, we are now in the midst of a major climate crisis, with far worse to come if we keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them.”
Climate change is not a standalone issue. To avoid more untold human suffering, we need to protect nature, eliminate most fossil fuel emissions and support socially just climate adaptations with a focus on low-income areas that are most vulnerable.
Saleemul Huq, Study Co-Author, Independent University
The report notes that in the 30 years since over 1,700 researchers signed the original “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” in 1992, global greenhouse gas emissions have grown up by 40%.
As Earth’s temperatures are creeping up, the frequency or magnitude of some types of climate disasters may actually be leaping up. We urge our fellow scientists around the world to speak out on climate change.
Thomas Newsome, Study Co-Author, University of Sydney
Ripple, W. J., et al. (2022) World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice. BioScience. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix125.