Thousands of scientists warn of major climate emergency amid recent rise in disasters
A group of 14,000 scientists from 34 countries have issued yet another warning about the state of planet Earth after data showed an increase in climate-related disasters in the past two years.
“We are nearing or have already crossed tipping points associated with critical parts of the Earth system, including the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, warm-water coral reefs, and the Amazon rainforest,” the report ‘World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2021’- which was released on Wednesday, stated.
Back in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 11,000 scientists collaborated to publish a report in the journal BioScience, declaring a climate emergency.
It has been almost two years since the 2019 report was released, and the situation has not improved.
“Especially troubling is the increase in climate-related disasters, including the 2019-20 Australian megafires, and the fact that three main greenhouse gases- carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide- set records for atmospheric concentrations in 2020 and again in 2021,” Ecologist at Australia’s University of Sydney and one of the new reports’ contributors Thomas Newsome said.
“The COVID pandemic has shown dips in human activity are not enough to avoid climate disaster: we need structural transformation of the economy,” he added.
Newsome suggested an “urgent need for transformative change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” as well as “human overexploitation of the planet”.
“Opportunities still exist to shift pandemic-related monetary support measures into climate friendly activities; it is encouraging to see fossil-fuel divestment and fossil-fuel subsidies improving in record setting ways.”
The study’s scientists also highlighted an unprecedented rise in the number of climate-related disasters across the world since 2019, including floods, excruciating heatwaves, wildfires and storms.
Throughout the last few weeks, the world has seen unprecedented rains leading to deadly flooding in central China and parts of Belgium and Germany, temperatures of 49 degrees Celsius in Canada, heatwaves in Finland and Ireland, and monstrous wildfires in the US, Turkey and Lebanon.
Despite regular warnings on the matter for several years now, humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen and fossil fuels have continued to destroy the Earth causing global warming to increase.
“We suggest an urgent need for transformative change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, more broadly, human overexploitation of the planet,” Newsome said.