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11,258 Scientists Warn The World About ‘Climate Emergency’

Over 11,000 across 153 countries declared a 'climate emergency'

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Climate emergency
Climate emergency is being declared by over 11,000 scientist. Pixabay

More than 11,000 scientists in 153 countries have declared a climate emergency around the world and also warned of ‘untold suffering’ unless there is significant transformation in the way humans live.

The study by 11,258 scientists called the “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency,” marks the first time a large group of scientists has formally come out in favour of labelling climate change an ’emergency’. It was published on Tuesday in the journal Bioscience, spearheaded by ecologists Bill Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University, along with William Moomaw, a Tufts University climate scientist, and researchers in Australia and South Africa.

The findings focus on six key objectives: replacing fossil fuels; cutting pollutants like methane and soot; restoring and protecting ecosystems; eating less meat; converting the economy to one that is carbon-free and stabilising population growth.

“Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament,” the study stated.

Although there are some positive indicators such as declining birth rates and a rise in renewable energy use, most indicators suggest humans are rapidly heading in the wrong direction, they said.

Backward steps include rising meat consumption, more air travel, chopping down forests faster than ever and increase in global carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists said they want the public to ‘understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities for alleviating climate change’.

Climate change
This is the first time a large group of scientists has formally come out in favour of labelling climate change an ’emergency’. Pixabay

The study also departs from other major climate assessments in that it directly addresses the politically sensitive subject of population growth.

The research notes that the global decline in fertility rates has ‘substantially slowed’ during the past 20 years, and calls for ‘bold and drastic’ changes in economic growth and population policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Such measures would include policies that strengthen human rights, especially for women and girls, and make family planning services ‘available to all people.’

“Global surface temperature, ocean heat content, extreme weather and its costs, sea level, ocean acidity and land area are all rising,” Professor Ripple said.

“Ice is rapidly disappearing as shown by declining trends in minimum summer Arctic sea ice, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and glacier thickness. All of these rapid changes highlight the urgent need for action.”

Lead author, Dr Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney, said measuring global surface temperatures remained important but that a broader set of indicators should be monitored.

This includes human population growth, meat consumption, tree-cover loss, energy consumption, fossil-fuel subsidies and annual economic losses to extreme weather events, he said.

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“Mitigating and adapting to climate change while honouring the diversity of humans entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems,” the scientists added. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Automative Technology May Have Adverse Impact on Climate, Public Health

climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities

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Technology
While automative technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. Pixabay

New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, a new study suggests.

The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said study researcher Rawad Saleh, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia in the US.

The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3 per cent in model year 2008 to 51 per cent in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93 per cent of vehicles in the US will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025. According to the study, researchers predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the US that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2.

In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion. The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to the researcher.

Technology
New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts. Pixabay

“This study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon,” Slah said. While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the researchers said that these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades.

Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously, they added.

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“Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. (IANS)