Climate change: 14,000 scientists warn of ‘untold misery’
Sunday, 01 August 2021
14 000 scientists from around the world warn that “ignoring climate change will cause untold misery” in a recent academic report published in BioScience.
There is mounting evidence that we are nearing or have already crossed tipping points associated with critical parts of the Earth system in the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, warm-water coral reefs, and the Amazon rainforest. “The world has to take action drastically,” the scientists urge.
Already in 2019, scientists from 153 countries declared a state of climate emergency and warned of future disasters. They presented graphs of planetary signs, indicating very troubling trends along with little progress by humanity to address climate change, and called for transformative change.
In Europe, extreme rainfall and destructive flooding recently affected Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
While fossil fuel energy consumption decreased since 2019, it was mostly due to the economic standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, projected estimates show fossil fuel energy consumption significantly rising again. Although solar and wind power consumption increased by 57% between 2018 and 2021, it is still almost 20 times lower than fossil fuel consumption.
Three important greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – all set new year-to-date records for atmospheric concentrations in 2020 and 2021. In April 2021, carbon dioxide concentration reached 416 parts per million, the highest monthly global average concentration ever recorded. As for the weather, five of the hottest years on record have occurred since 2015.
A major lesson from the coronavirus pandemic was that even the massively reduced transportation and consumption levels during lockdowns, are not close enough to stop climate change New Mobility reports. Instead, transformational system changes are required. Given the impacts at roughly 1,25°C warming, combined with the many reinforcing feedback loops and potential tipping points, massive-scale climate action is urgently needed, the scientists conclude.
“We reaffirm the climate emergency declaration and again call for transformative change, which is needed now more than ever to protect life on Earth and remain within as many planetary boundaries as possible. The speed of change is essential, and new climate policies should be part of Covid-19 recovery plans. We must now join together as a global community with a shared sense of urgency, cooperation, and equity.”