15000 researchers issue doomsday warning: Time is running out

Scientists issue grave 'warning to humanity' 25 years on from landmark alert

Twenty-five years ago, 1,500 scientists signed a letter warning humanity that it needed to change its ways in order to save the planet.

More than 15,000 researchers from around the world have signed an update to a 1992 "doomsday" document, warning that "time is running out" in the battle to sustain the future health of the planet. They claim the overwhelming majority of the outlined threats are still in place and "alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse". The letter chronicled environmental impressions and compared them to biblical plagues like stratospheric ozone exhaustion, air and water contamination, the disintegration of fisheries and diminution of soil productivity, deforestation, species loss and awful global climate change engendered by the burning of fossil fuels.

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". We all have to get on board with the pursuit of a green economy and reducing our carbon footprint as to go about our daily lives.

"Some people might be tempted to dismiss this evidence and think we are just being alarmist", said William Ripple, distinguished professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and lead author of the new warning. Global climate change is the top most priority of the novel letter's inventory of planetary menace. As WaPo notes, since the original piece, global average temperatures have continued to rise-half a degree Celsius since 1992, which has a profound impact on the ecosystem.

The number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish has fallen by 29%. Scientists credit that progress to the phasing out of chlorofluorocarbons - chemicals once used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans that trigger reactions in the atmosphere to break down ozone. Told worldwide experts and about the positive changes in the environment, including reducing the number in air of ozone-depleting components.

"Scientists are in the business of analyzing data and looking at the long-term consequences", Ripple said in a release. But apparently the world didn't get that message 25 years ago, and the experts who penned the new warning called it "a second notice", like what someone would receive when they don't pay their bills. They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path.

To this end, Ripple and his colleagues have formed a new organization, the Alliance of World Scientists, aimed at providing a science-based perspective on issues affecting the well-being of people and the planet. "We are hoping that our paper will ignite a widespread public debate about the global environment and climate".

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