An original warning was sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists and it was backed by 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. The new notice, however, is taking a form of an open-letter, but has the support of even 15,364 scientists from 184 countries.These experts claim that the situation is much worse than it was in 1992, and that almost all of the problems have exacerbated. The only bright thing is the hole in the ozone layer that has improved, but the catastrophic climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean "dead zones" and lack of access to fresh water are issues that still remain.
The top US ecologist, Professor William Ripple, from Oregon State University said: "Humanity is now being given a second notice..." Ripple and his colleagues have formed a new independent organization named the Alliance of World Scientists, in order to raise public awareness about the seriousness of the problem.
- The striking reality of what has worsened in the past 25 years:
- The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26%.
- The number of ocean "dead zones" has increased by 75%.
- Nearly 300 million acres of forest have been lost
- Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued significant increases.
- Human population has risen by 35%.
- Collectively the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29%.
As the letter warns, "Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out... We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home."