Planet Earth is facing a climate emergency, warns scientists

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 07, 2019

The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle

The world’s people stand the risk of facing “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a strongly worded warning from more than 11,000 scientists across the globe, The Guardian said in an article.

“The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle,” the scientists said.

“We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” they said in the statement. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”

There is no time to lose, the scientists said: “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity,” the article further stated.

This statement was published in the journal BioScience on the anniversary of the first world climate conference, which was held in Geneva in 1979, the article said. The statement was put forth post a collaboration of dozens of scientists, which was further endorsed by another 11,000 from 153 nations, it added.

Change in diet

The scientists said the urgent changes needed include ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction and slashing meat-eating, the article said.

The increase in extreme weather that is perceptible was what was the driving point to initiate this, according to the lead author of the statement, Prof William Ripple, of Oregon State University.

Read also: More fruits and veggies, less red meat: This is planet-friendly diet

“A key aim of the warning is to set out a full range of “vital sign” indicators of the causes and effects of climate breakdown, rather than only carbon emissions and surface temperature rise,” the article said.

A broader set of indicators should be monitored, which include human population growth, tree-cover loss, meat consumption, energy consumption, fossil-fuel subsidies and annual economic losses to extreme weather, pointed out co-author Thomas Newsome, of the University of Sydney.

Other “profoundly troubling signs from human activities” selected by the scientists include booming air passenger numbers and world GDP growth, the article said.

A UN report released on Wednesday also warned that global sea levels are set to rise by at least 1m by 2100 if carbon emissions go unchecked. This will result in submerging hundreds of cities, including Mumbai and Kolkata, and in some cases, entire countries.

Due to accelerated global warming, extreme events such as storm surges are likely to occur once a year rather than once a century, said the report, which is approved by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Published on November 07, 2019

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