Earth’s ‘vital signs,’ which indicate the planet’s health, are deteriorating at an alarming rate, according to a group of scientists. The researchers concluded that severe climate change effects would be felt soon as a result of this. On Wednesday, a group of over 14,000 researchers signed an international declaration calling recent events a ‘climate emergency’ and claiming that governments around the world have failed to adequately acknowledge the crisis.
In 2019, the scientists came to the same conclusion, citing a ‘unprecedented surge’ in climate-related disasters. Record-breaking heatwaves, floods in South America and Southeast Asia, wildfires in Australia and the United States and cyclones in Africa and South Asia were among the conditions reported.
The ‘vital signs’ were calculated using data from a key metric system that included greenhouse gas emissions, glacier thickness, sea-ice extent and deforestation. The researchers discovered that 18 of these parameters had reached new highs or lows.
Ocean heat and global sea levels have set new records since 2019. In 2020, the annual loss rate of the Amazon rainforest situated in Brazil hit a 12-year high. Scientists have discovered all-time low levels of ice mass in Greenland and Antarctica. They also discovered that glaciers are melting 31% faster now than they were 15 years ago.
Along with these events, the scientists also noted how climate change may now be irreversible on a scale of centuries, regardless of whether humans are able to cut down harmful emissions.