The letter is thought to have the most support ever for a scientific article, with a total of 15,372 signatures from researchers across a range of scientific disciples.
Entitled "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice," the letter recalls a previous warning made by world scientists in 1992 that humans "were on a collision course with the natural world."
They cited concerns about the rapidly increasing human population, and implored for the stabilization of the human population, to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce deforestation and reverse the trend of collapsing biodiversity.
MUST. READ. RIGHT. NOW. 25 years later after first notice… and things are going even worse: "World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice | BioScience | Oxford Academic" https://t.co/QELfQM8Y2B pic.twitter.com/pBk2mvqYFv— Celestino Güemes (@tguemes) 13 ноября 2017 г.
However, the scientists have now issued a second warning, since the last one was not heeded. The Earth's human population has swelled by another 2 billion people since 1992, an increase of 35%.
The "current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change" due to burning fossil fuels, deforestation and agricultural production is "especially troubling," they write in the letter, published in the journal BioScience on Monday.
"Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century."