In a radical departure from the conservative language that normally defines science, 11,258 scientists from around the world have called for drastic climate action to "avoid untold suffering".
Sounding the clarion call in high-impact journal BioScience, the peer-reviewed declaration affirms the science community's "moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat" and to "tell it like it is".
"On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented," the declaration's lead authors state, "we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency."
The scientists represent top-tier institutions in 153 countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe. They specialise in a dizzying array of disciplines, including environmental sciences, mathematics, neuroscience and astrophysics.
Through a glass darkly
Released this week, the declaration embodies a historical moment in science communication -- this is the first time that scientists from around the world have joined forces to declare an "unequivocal climate emergency" on a global scale. Compared with previous climate publications, studies and reports, such as the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, this declaration uses dramatic wording that creates a disturbing portrait of "profoundly troubling signs...