11,000 scientists from across the world unite to declare global climate emergency
Eleven thousand scientists in 153 countries have issued a stark warning about the climate crisis, declaring a global climate emergency, the Independent reports.
They warn that "untold human suffering" is inevitable unless substantial changes are made to our way of life in terms of how it impacts the environment.
The statement was published in the journal BioScience on the 40th anniversary of the first world climate conference, held in Geneva in 1979.
"We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency," it states. "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."
This is the moment 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg rebukes world leaders:
Worryingly, the researchers emphasise that they aim to "clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat" and "tell it like it is", but the truth of the matter is that "planet Earth is facing a climate emergency".
William Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University and lead author of the study, felt driven to spearhead the letter due to the continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions and the extreme weather he was seeing as a result.
"Despite 40 years of major global negotiations, we have continued to conduct business as usual and have failed to address this crisis," he said.
Some of the "profoundly troubling signs from human activities" noted by the scientists include an increase in air passenger numbers and world GDP growth. "The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle."
As a result of human activities, there are "especially disturbing" trends of increasing temperatures on land and in the oceans, rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns, the scientists said.
"Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have largely failed to address this predicament. Especially worrisome are potential irreversible climate tipping points," they continued. "These climate chain reactions could cause significant disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies, potentially making large areas of Earth uninhabitable."