Experts have released a new report warning about the state of our planet, and the update is truly devastating.
According to the researchers, critical parts of Earth's system, such as the West Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets, coral reefs in warm water, and the Amazon Rainforest are reaching or already have crossed tipping points.
Considering these alarming developments, it is essential to offer short, frequent, and easily accessible updates on the climate emergency." In 2019, 11,258 scientists published a report in BioScience, alerting the world to the very real climate emergency we're facing.
"Climate-related disasters have been on the rise, such as the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, and three greenhouse gases have set records for atmospheric concentrations in 2020 and again in 2021," says Thomas Newsome of the University of Sydney. "This was despite shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic."
According to the report, also published in BioScience, 2,800 scientists have joined the growing collective, 1,990 jurisdictions have declared or recognized a climate emergency, and a policy framework has been provided to mitigate some of the damage we're causing our planet.
They propose a "three-pronged near-term policy approach": a significant increase in carbon prices, a worldwide phase-out and eventual ban of fossil fuels, and the creation of climate reserves to protect and restore biodiversity and carbon sinks.
As is well known, climate scientists have been advocating the dangers of anthropogenic climate change since at least the 1960s, and have offered various solutions in different ways since the 1980s.
Despite knowing what fossil fuels are doing to the Earth's climate, human greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise. This has worsened global warming. In consequence, scientists say we have run out of time.
The need for radical change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, more broadly, human overexploitation of the planet is urgent, says Newsome.