Scientific Consensus on Maintaining Humanity's Life Support Systems in the 21st Century

(click the title to go to download page, or images below to see executive summary pages
- note that the images open into a new window)

Click here to download the First Release Version May 23, 2013 (English)

The vast majority of scientists who study the interactions between people and the rest of the biosphere agree on a key conclusion: that the five interconnected dangerous trends listed above are having detrimental effects, and if continued, the already-apparent negative impacts on human quality of life will become much worse within a few decades. The multitude of sound scientific evidence to substantiate this has been summarized in many recent position papers and consensus statements (a few samples are listed on pp. 28-29 of the full statement), and documented in thousands of articles in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. However, the position papers and consensus statements typically focus only on a subset of the five key issues (for example, climate change, or biodiversity loss, or pollution), and access to the peer-reviewed literature is often difficult for non-scientists. As a result, policy makers faced with making critical decisions can find it cumbersome both to locate the pertinent information and to digest the thousands of pages through which it is distributed.

In the statement we provide a summary intended to:
  • Be useful to policy makers and others who need to understand the most serious environmental-health issues that affect both local constituencies and the entire planet.
  • Clearly voice the consensus of most scientists who study these issues that:
    • Climate disruption, extinction, ecosystem loss, pollution, and population growth are serious threats to humanity's well-being and societal stability; and
    • These five major threats do not operate independently of each other.

We also outline broad-brush actions that, from a scientific perspective, will be required to mitigate the threats. The intent is to provide information that will be necessary and useful if the desire of the general public, governments, and businesses is to maximize the chance that the world of our children and grandchildren will be at least as good as the one in which we live now.

This page is mainly for providing the links to original websites and for finnish language material
(press releases, media coverage etc.)

The official website for the Consensus Statement:
Consensus Statement from Global Scientists

If you want endorse the statement, you can sign it here:
Endorse the Statement

The Statement has been Drafted Through Collaboration of (In alphabetical order):
Anthony D. Barnosky*, James H. Brown, Gretchen C. Daily, Rodolfo Dirzo, Anne H. Ehrlich, Paul R. Ehrlich, Jussi T. Eronen, Mikael Fortelius, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Estella B. Leopold, Harold A. Mooney, John Peterson Myers, Rosamond L. Naylor, Stephen Palumbi, Nils Christian Stenseth, Marvalee H. Wake.
*Lead writer is Anthony Barnosky, to whom correspondence should be addressed: barnosky(at)berkeley.edu

At the time of it's publication the Statement has been signed by 520 scientists from 44 countries (see map below), dozens of members of National Academy of Sciences and equivalents from around the world, and even 2 Nobel Laureates.


Countries (blue) from which 520 scientists have signed as of May 21, 2013.

See a short announcement in Nature Correspondence:
Ecology: Getting the word out on biosphere crisis

Suomenkieliset yhteyshenkilöt:

Mikael Fortelius
Jussi T. Eronen

Suomenkielinen lehdistötiedote on saatavissa täältä

Suomen uutisissa (Press coverage in Finland):

Turun Sanomat: Yli 500 tutkijaa varoittaa: Maailman tila huononee nopeasti

Hufvudstadsbladet: Forskarna larmar om världens tillstånd

Luonnontieteellinen Keskusmuseo, HY: Tieteellinen julkilausuma maailman johtajille

International press coverage:

KQED interview of Tony Barnosky (august 2013; see also Climate Scientist to Politicians: It's Time to Face the Facts)

Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown: Governor Brown Joins Global Scientists to Call for Action on Climate Change

Berkeley newscenter: World's top scientists: California & nations must act now on environment

CBS SF Bay Area: Brown Presses Climate Change Crusade At NASA Ames In Mountain View

Climate Wire: Heeding call to shout "from the rooftops", researchers warn Earth's tipping point is near

San Francisco Chronicle: Environmental crisis looms, UC, Stanford experts warn

Stanford News: Stanford scientists urge action on global climate change

San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press: 520 scientists sign statement on Maintaining Humanity's Life Support Systems in the 21st Century

KQED: California Scientists Sign Consensus: "Don't Ignore Climate Change"

Market Watch: Engage to Hold PR Roundtable at WEST Summit on Planetary Sustainability

Houston Chronicle: Gov. Brown keeps pressing climate change crusade

Silicon Beat: pressing on the perils of climate change

San Jose Mercury News: Gov. Brown keeps pressing climate change crusade

Modesto Bee: Gov. Brown keeps pressing climate change crusade

KGO ABC7: Gov. Brown keeps pressing climate change crusade

NBC Bay Area: Gov. Brown Keeps Pressing Climate Change Crusade

KTVU TV 2: Gov. Brown Keeps Pressing Climate Change Crusade

Bay Area News Group: Climate change: Environmentalists question whether Gov. Jerry Brown's actions match his rhetoric

KPCC: Gov. Brown Keeps Pressing Climate Change Crusade

Mountain View Patch: Gov. Brown: Pay Attention to Climate Change

Spaceref: California Governor Brown Meets Scientists at NASA Ames

Sacramento Bee: Jerry Brown: News media ignoring climate change

The Daily Climate: Opinion: Stop the decay of our planet's life-support systems

Environmental News Service: Global Scientists, California Governor Call for Climate Action

Daily Kos: 520 scientists sign statement on Maintaining Humanity's Life Support Systems in the 21st Century