Earth

New Report: Earth Is “Unequivocally” in Midst of Climate Emergency

Global Warming Planet Earth Fire Concept

More than 14,000 scientists from 158 countries have signed the original report.

16 of the 35 planetary vital indicators used by the researchers to measure climate change are at all-time highs.

The Earth’s vital signs have deteriorated to the point that “humanity is unequivocally facing a climate emergency,” according to a study recently released by a worldwide coalition of scientists.

According to the report, “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022,” published in the journal BioScience, 16 of the 35 planetary vital indicators used by the authors to measure climate change are at record extremes.

The authors of the report present new data showing an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events, an increase in the loss of worldwide forest cover due to fires, and an increase in the incidence of the mosquito-borne dengue virus.

Despite an increase in pledges for fossil fuel divestment, they also observe significant increases in the use of fossil fuels during COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to 418 parts per million, the highest on record.

William Ripple, a distinguished professor in the Oregon State University College of Forestry, and postdoctoral researcher Christopher Wolf are the lead authors of the report, and 10 other U.S. and global scientists are co-authors. The study comes five years after “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice,” which was co-signed by more than 15,000 scientists from 184 nations and was published by Ripple in BioScience.

“As we can see by the annual surges in climate disasters, we are now in the midst of a major climate crisis, with far worse to come if we keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them,” Wolf said. “We implore our fellow scientists to join us in advocating for research-based approaches to climate and environmental decision-making.”

Other co-authors of the report are from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Sydney, Independent University Bangladesh, the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter, the Bezos Earth Fund, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

“Climate change is not a standalone issue,” said Saleemul Huq of Independent University Bangladesh. “It is part of a larger systemic problem of ecological overshoot where human demand is exceeding the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. To avoid more untold human suffering, we need to protect nature, eliminate most fossil fuel emissions and support socially just climate adaptations with a focus on low-income areas that are most vulnerable.”

The report points out that in the three decades since more than 1,700 scientists signed the original “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” in 1992, global greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 40%.

“As Earth’s temperatures are creeping up, the frequency or magnitude of some types of climate disasters may actually be leaping up,” said the University of Sydney’s Thomas Newsome. “We urge our fellow scientists around the world to speak out on climate change.”

In addition to Wolf and Ripple, three other OSU scientists are co-authors of the paper: Jillian Gregg, Matthew Betts, and Beverly Law.

“World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022” is an update of a paper published in BioScience three years ago. The Alliance of World Scientists, an independent organization formed to be a collective voice on environmental sustainability and human well-being, continues to collect co-signers on the 2019 paper. To date, more than 14,000 scientists from 158 countries have signed.

Ongoing work to spur climate change action by scientists around the world is chronicled in a new 35-minute documentary film “The Scientist’s Warning.” The film, by Oregon State Productions, is now available for free online viewing following its Oct. 14 premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival in Newport Beach, California.

“The Scientist’s Warning” also chronicles Ripple’s personal journey: from a rural, low-income childhood in South Dakota in the 1950s to becoming an ecologist in Yellowstone to assuming a role as a global advocate for using science to make informed policy decisions.

“Look at all of these fires, floods, and massive storms,” Ripple said. “The specter of climate change is at the door and pounding hard.”

Reference: “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2022” by William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Jillian W. Gregg, Kelly Levin, Johan Rockström, Thomas M. Newsome, Matthew G. Betts, Saleemul Huq, Beverly E. Law, Luke Kemp, Peter Kalmus and Timothy M. Lenton, 26 October 2022, BioScience.
DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biac083

The study was funded by the CO2 Foundation, Karen Josephson, Peter Stoel, and Roger Worthington. 

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  • So this "news" will still be ignored, media will barely mention it or not cover it at all, and scientists will go on wringing their hands while they issue even more reports and studies that will continue to say the same things but only worse, year after year after year, all the while the world does almost nothing to save itself as politicians and pundits, grifters and greed occupy the halls of power and corporations around the world, literally plunging the world itself into hell, mass starvation and death while sitting on their piles and piles of money.

    Yeah, I get it. It's been like this for dozens and dozens of years while both science and the media constantly issue non-stop lies about how we can stop this, how we still have time, or a bogus "budget" and other absolutely ridiculous claims that are factually false and completely unproven.

    Then they have the gall to wonder why we don't trust any of them, not the scientists, not the government, not the politicians and not the corporations or the lobbyists or actually, ANYONE INVOLVED at any step of this process of destroying the only habitat human will ever have. Certainly not Musk and his ilk who think that barren, sterile and extremely inhospitable planets will ever support human life after squandering BILLIONS on misguided projects and plans (and Twitter).

    The country is occupied by liar, grifters, morons and thieves pretending to be leaders, competent and capable. The climate emergency has been with us for YEARS and still they dither and deflection non-stop, and STILL the scientist refuse to revolt (nothing else will finally get the world's attention).

    If you do what you have always done, why should anyone expect different results? More "data" is not needed to know that humanity is on the pathway to extinction along with the rest of the world's fauna. Do we need 17 planetary vital indicators to be flashing red? 18? 20? 30? Good god almighty, it's already too late for many species NOW.

    If science was TRULY interested in "getting the message acrossed" as they should be - they would STOP doing what they're doing and try something else - something drastic, irrefutable and noticeable by the entire world. And the same applies to the media - they'd stop pretending and lying about bogus "solutions" and endless empty promises and claims (do some real research you lazy journalists). And the same applies to government leaders and those who pretend to be - STOP WASTING TIME and enact REAL effective legislation instead of opening your palms to corporate interests.

    It's absolutely SICKENING to see the non-stop lies and frauds and pretense that surrounds this most critical topic. Everyone involved has failed us, and failed the future of this planet. I have documented this suicidal behavior for over two decades now and as I've always said, "it's always worse and worse" and it is. The same dishonesty and deception prevails and the non-stop empty promises and claims, yet the situation just keeps getting worse and worse. Of course it will - those who can do something about it refuse to do it.

    It is not enough to just issue yet another report - tens of thousands of these studies and reports have been written and issued. So yeah, I definitely blame YOU, because you are the only people who can actually put a stop to this ongoing insanity that will impact the entire human race and every other species on this planet.

    • "... and STILL the scientist [sic] refuse to revolt ..."

      The paragon of a scientist has long been the 'disinterested observer' -- Someone who is completely objective and not influenced by their religious or political beliefs. It is obvious that you are as convinced and committed as any disciple could be.

      I would highly recommend that you read "The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses" by T. C. Chamberlain (1890). You might learn something about science and humans.

    • "It’s absolutely SICKENING to see the non-stop lies and frauds and pretense that surrounds this most critical topic."

      I couldn't agree with you more!

  • "... new data showing an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events, an increase in the loss of worldwide forest cover due to fires, and an increase in the incidence of the mosquito-borne dengue virus."
    An analysis I did for the conterminous US did not uncover any evidence of an increase in heat waves. [https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/06/the-gestalt-of-heat-waves/] Forest fires are not the result of spontaneous combustion. They are overwhelmingly the result of arson in developed countries, and are exacerbated by unwise forestry fire-suppression practices that have allowed fuel to accumulate for decades. Dengue is a tropical disease and the tropics have not been warming as much as the high latitudes. The metric that should be used is the infection per capita, not the total incidence.

    "... they also observe significant increases in the use of fossil fuels during COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to 418 parts per million, ..."
    While it is true that the rise in atmospheric CO2 has continued unabated, several other authors have documented a decline in anthropogenic CO2 emissions during 2020 of more than 18% in April, with an annual average decline of 10%. [https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/03/22/anthropogenic-co2-and-the-expected-results-from-eliminating-it/]

    “As Earth’s temperatures are creeping up, the frequency or magnitude of some types of climate disasters may actually be leaping up,”
    Their initial, basic premise is wrong. There has not been any statistically significant global warming for more than 8 years. [https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/11/03/the-new-pause-lengthens-to-8-years-1-month/] Therefore, their speculation about "climate disasters" is not supported.

    I'm concerned that when those who call themselves "scientists" present speculative forecasts, based on easily refutable claims, the public will lose faith in science. They are doing society a disservice by not being as rigorous as they should.

  • Spencer is a biased idiot. Everyone here knows it. Every scientist knows it. We also know where your funding comes from. Other then that - babble on. Nobody is listening to you.

    • I think that any reader can see that I'm not an idiot, so that is a poor way to make an effort to convince readers to see things your way. As to being biased, I am. I find it annoying when people who should know better, and people like you, make unsupported claims or misstate the facts.

      In the links I provided, I not only provide the data and analysis for the topics, but also citations when relying on other's work. If you think that there is something amiss, please feel free to point out the problem(s). In the absence of specific criticisms that you can back up, people will see you for the opinionated and unknowledgeable proselyte that you are.

      Funding? Really! Where is your evidence that anyone, let alone me, is being paid to critique poor science? I think that the probability is higher that you are being paid to comment. I'm a retired former college professor and scientist. Therefore, your unsupported claim that "every scientist knows it," is obviously wrong because there is at least one who doesn't -- me. Prior to you hoisting yourself on your own petard, the best I could have done to counter your statement was to point out that there was no way that you could actually know what every scientist thinks, and it is improbable that every scientist holds the same view. Then there are well-known scientists, like physicist Dr. William Happer, that have clearly stated in their publications that your views are not held universally.

      I think that your reality check just bounced. Your fact-free opinions are less than convincing.

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