We are on the verge of a climate disaster
More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries around the world are calling for a “climate emergency”. They warn that there is not much time left for action to help the planet.
The statement has been published in BioScience, quoted by Vesti.bg. It summarizes the results of climate studies over the last 40 years. Scientists look at the current situation and firmly conclude that “climate distress” is almost inevitable.
For the last 40 years, the average temperature of Earth has increased by almost a full degree. In the last decade alone, Antarctica’s ice has dropped by 1,230 gigatons.
The planet’s forest cover decreases by 50% every 10 years. People destroy 28 million hectares of forest annually. Every decade, the number of climate disasters increases by 40%, and storms, hurricanes and fires damage by 80%.
In South Africa it should be the beginning of the rainy season now. Instead, the region is facing unprecedented drought. Victoria Falls is about to dry and large animals in the region are dying of thirst.
“We have teamed up to declare a climate disaster because climate change is more serious and accelerating faster than scientists expected. Many of us think there is not much time left to act” said Bill Riple.
His colleague and co-author, Thomas Newsom, says that the petitioners included scientists from different fields of science like astrophysicists, neurologists and many more. He adds that the faster the response, the better the chances.
Scientists also suggest six measures that can help calm the process:
– Promote and implement mass-based energy efficiency practices, and use more energy from renewable sources;
– Reduce emissions of methane, hydrofluorocarbons and other climate polluting substances;
– Speed up work on restoring ecosystems such as coral reefs, forests and green areas and reducing the loss of animal and plant species;
– Reduce the consumption of animal products and eat mostly plant foods;
– Move the focus from GDP growth to sustainable ecosystems and improving human quality of life;
– Stabilize and then reduce the world population.
Some of these measures sound extreme and practically inapplicable. The scientists themselves also have no idea how everything they ask can be realized. They say some of these trends are already detectable, such as increased use of renewable energies, increased pressure on companies to reduce harmful emissions and even slow down population growth. For now, however, all of this is happening too slowly to have a tangible effect on the planet’s climate.