Friday, 17 November, 2017

Over 15000 scientists issue warning to humanity

More than 15000 scientists issue 'warning to humanity' Act or face catastrophe - scientists
Kristine Garrett | 14 November, 2017, 17:57

In a communique published Monday in the journal BioScience, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries assess the world's latest responses to various environmental threats. That letter was signed by 1,700 scientists on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists, highlighting how the environment was suffering from "critical stresses" as a result of human behavior, including ozone and water depletion, destruction of forests and oceans, loss of soil productivity and living species, and overpopulation.

The lone bright spot exists way up in the stratosphere, where the hole in the planet's protective ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since 1988.

For the other factors that went into the warning, the quarter-century since has not been as productive - not by a long-shot.

The new warning was published Monday in the global journal BioScience, and marks an update to the "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" issued by almost 1,700 leading scientists 25 years ago.

"Some people might be tempted to dismiss this evidence and think we are just being alarmist", said Ripple.

The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing Earth's ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life.

Scientists noted it is "especially troubling" that the world continues on a path toward "potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels".

"The rapid global decline in ozone depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively", the letter says.

Since then, almost all major threats to the environment have grown more dire, particularly the booming world population, which has added two billion people since 1992, a 35% increase, according to the update. Percentage changes, since 1992, for each graph in the figure, are: (a) -68.1%; (b) -26.1%; (c) -6.4%; (d) +75.3%; (e) -2.8%; (f) -28.9%; (g) +62.1%; (h) +167.6%; and (i) humans: +35.5%, ruminant livestock: +20.5%.

Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends.

In the journal BioScience, the scientists, led by U.S. ecologist Professor William Ripple, said: "Humanity is now being given a second notice. we are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats".

The scientists formed an independent organisation called the Alliance of World Scientists to voice concerns about environmental sustainability and the fate of humanity. "So this allows them to have a collective voice".

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