Tuesday, 20 March, 2018

Doomsday warning to humanity signed by 15000 scientists

Doomsday warning to humanity signed by 15000 scientists Doomsday warning to humanity signed by 15000 scientists
Theresa Hayes | 15 November, 2017, 07:21

It is actually an update of a letter sent out by a group of scientists titled "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" in 1992, in which 1,700 scientists, including most scientific Nobel laureates alive at the time, stated what they considered the biggest threats to the planet and, by extension, to us.

More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries worldwide, including scores from MA universities, have signed a letter warning that Earth's environment is on the road to destruction. "Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, a lot of them are getting far worse".

This letter, led by Oregon State University ecologist William Ripple, handles as a "second notice", the authors says that we would have passed the last chance to obtain a good life.

"It's an overwhelming response we didn't quite expect", says Thomas Newsome, a co-author of the report and research fellow at Deakin University and The University of Sydney. Newsome says that on their first callout day, four months ago, they attracted almost 600 signatories.

A NEW, dire "warning to humanity" about the dangers to all of us has been written by 15,000 scientists from around the world.

"In this paper we look back on these trends and evaluate the subsequent human response by exploring the available data", Newsome said.

"As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life", the warning says. "People just started sharing the letter; it was added to a few e-mail lists and things just took off from there".

Among the "especially troubling" trends, they write, are rising greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, agricultural production, and the sixth mass extinction event underway.

A large part of these environmental catastrophes are due to the rise in human population. Ripple and his team warn that if changes aren't made, there will be irreversible biodiversity loss and increases in natural disasters and human misery, the Independent reports. The human population grew by a whopping 2 billion, while the populations of all other mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by almost 30 percent.

The new statement-a "Second Notice" to humanity-does acknowledge that there have been some positive steps forward, such as the drop in ozone depleters and advancements in reducing hunger since the 1992 warning. Just this month, measurements from satellites showed the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was the smallest it has been since 1988, according to scientists from NASA and NOAA.

According to the writers, change is not an impossible task - the world population quickly reined in ozone-depleting substances, like the kinds that were commonly found in aerosol containers and foam manufacturing, after it was discovered that they were eating away at the atmosphere that protects the planet's surface from harmful radiation.

A quarter of a century ago, humanity collectively ignored an urgent warning from the world's leading scientists.

The article was published on Monday in BioScience.