New York - More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have declared a climate emergency that could bring "untold suffering" if urgent action isn't taken to conserve the biosphere.
"Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any great existential threat," the signatories say in a paper published in Bioscience Magazine on Tuesday.
"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," writes the alliance of scientists, led by William Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University.
"The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected."
The signatories suggest six steps that would lessen the worst effects of climate change: replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables; reducing the emissions of pollutants such as methane; protecting the earth's ecosystems; eating mostly plant-based foods and fewer animal products; creating a carbon-free economy; and stabilizing the human population.