More than 11,000 multidisciplinary scientists from all over the world have signed a report confirming that the Earth is facing a clear climate emergency and suggesting some ways to deal with it.
"Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat. Based on that commitment, we clearly and categorically state that the planet is facing a climate emergency."
Scientists' warning to humanity begins in this report after politicians and policymakers ignored previous warnings from experts and researchers in the areas of climate change and the environment.
Warnings and ignore
Since the first World Climate Conference was held in Geneva in 1979, scientists from 50 countries have agreed that worrying trends in climate change make urgent action necessary. Since then, repeated warnings have been issued, including at the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and, finally, the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Despite scientists' warnings, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise rapidly, with increasingly damaging effects on Earth's climate.
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According to the report, the climate crisis is closely linked to the pattern of excessive consumption in rich countries, which are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions.
In the report, scientists presented detailed data on the diverse effects of human activities that have changed the climate and the worrying signs of these changes over the past 40 years.
These include continuing population increases, ruminant population, meat production, increased fossil fuel consumption, rising global GDP and CO2 emissions with the loss of global forest cover.
Although there are some encouraging signs, such as the 373% increase in solar and wind energy consumption in the past decade, the use of these renewable energies is still 28 times lower than that of fossil fuels.
In contrast, the report records several very disturbing trends. Concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide continue to increase, and as a result the average surface temperature continues to rise, leading to a rapid decline in the ice areas of the Arctic, Greenland, Antarctica and glaciers worldwide.
Ocean heat and acidity and sea levels are also on an upward trend. Scientists expect climate change to significantly affect marine life, freshwater and land, from plankton and coral reefs to fish and forests.
Despite four decades of climate warnings and negotiations, climate change is actually occurring at a much faster and more rapid pace than most scientists have predicted and thus threaten the fate of humanity, the report says.
Of particular concern is the possibility of climate change reaching a point of no return, after which the Earth loses its ability to self-recover and this phenomenon becomes out of control, rendering large areas of the planet uninhabitable.
Steps to the rescue
The report proposes six interrelated steps in the areas of energy, pollution, nature protection, population, food and the economy that governments, businesses and the rest of humanity can take to minimize the worst impacts of climate change.
In this report, scientists are calling for rapid reductions in emissions of methane or soot and HFCs. In their view, this alone would reduce global warming by more than 50% in the short term.
In this context, scientists are particularly encouraging changes in eating habits and seeking to reduce food waste while changing dietary patterns by eating more plants and consuming less animal products, which would significantly reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions and land allocation. Agricultural production of human food instead of feed.
Scientists are finally drawing attention to the problem of overcrowding and demanding a stable population of 200,000 newborns every day.
In this report, scientists emphasize that mitigating and adapting to climate change while respecting human diversity requires major shifts in how our global society works and interacting with natural ecosystems.
Without immediate measures to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, "untold human suffering" is inevitable, they say.