“We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern among governments, grassroots citizens and young generations.” 

Urgent action needed to stop further rise in GHG emissions

In recent decades, multiple global assemblies have agreed that urgent action is essential, but greenhouse gas emissions are still rapidly rising, the scientists warn, noting that other ominous signs from human activities include sustained increases in per-capita meat production, global tree cover loss and the number of airline passengers.

According to the paper, there are also some encouraging signs – including decreases in global birth rates and decelerated forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon, as well as increases in wind and solar power – but even those measures are tinged with worry. 

“Global surface temperature, ocean heat content, extreme weather and its costs, sea level, ocean acidity and area burned in the United States are all rising,” Ripple says. “Globally, ice is rapidly disappearing, as demonstrated by decreases in minimum summer Arctic sea ice, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and glacier thickness.