World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022
26 October 2022
An international coalition of researchers says in a report published on 26 October 2022 that the Earth’s vital signs have worsened to the point that “humanity is unequivocally facing a climate emergency.”
The report, World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022, published in the journal BioScience, notes that 16 of 35 planetary vital signs the authors use to track climate change are at record extremes.
The report’s authors share new data illustrating increasing frequency of extreme heat events, rising global tree cover loss because of fires, and a greater prevalence of the mosquito-borne dengue virus.
They also note large increases in fossil fuel energy consumption following COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns – despite an upswing in commitments for fossil fuel divestment – and a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to 418 parts per million, the highest on record.
William Ripple, a distinguished professor in the OSU College of Forestry, and postdoctoral researcher Christopher Wolf are the lead authors of the report, and 10 other U.S. and global scientists are co-authors. The report follows by five years the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” published by Ripple in BioScience and co-signed by more than 15,000 scientists in 184 countries.
“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,” Wolf said. “We implore our fellow scientists to join us in advocating for research-based approaches to climate and environmental decision-making.”
Other co-authors of the report are from UCLA, the University of Sydney, Independent University Bangladesh, the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter, Bezos Earth Fund and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
“Climate change is not a standalone issue,” said Saleemul Huq of Independent University Bangladesh. “It is part of a larger systemic problem of ecological overshoot where human demand is exceeding the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. 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.”
The report points out that in the three decades since more than 1,700 scientists signed the original “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” in 1992, global greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 40%.
“As Earth’s temperatures are creeping up, the frequency or magnitude of some types of climate disasters may actually be leaping up,” said the University of Sydney’s Thomas Newsome. “We urge our fellow scientists around the world to speak out on climate change.”
“World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022” is an update of a paper published in BioScience three years ago. The Alliance of World Scientists, an independent organization formed to be a collective voice on environmental sustainability and human well-being, continues to collect co-signers on the 2019 paper. To date more than 14,000 scientists from 158 countries have signed.
Based on Oregon State University press release 26 October 2022 https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/968620
Last updated 28 October 2022