Today's Global Climate Change
Health Emergency

18 Dec 2014 The World Medical Association is urging governments to commit to an ambitious and binding climate agreement to protect public health. It notes that disappointingly, last week’s COP20 negotiations in Lima, Peru concluded with limited progress toward a deal in 2015. ‘As negotiators look toward Paris, it is imperative that governments commit to addressing the devastating health implications of unmitigated climate change,’ ( Dr. Haikerwal Chair of the WMA Council).

1 Oct 2014 BMJ to WHO: "Declare global climate change a global public health emergency" 

"Climate change & the carbon-intensive economy are responsible for 5 million deaths each year – 400,000 due to hunger and communicable diseases aggravated by climate change."
DARA Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2012

"Today's CO2 measurements will culminate in a 2-degree Celsius, or 3.6 F, increase in the Earth's average temperature."
M. Raphael National Research Council 2011

— NASA's Dr. James Hansen
VIDEO James Hansen 2008 Speech

Starting back in 2006, Prof. John Holdren explained that the world
is beyond dangerous climate interference and is facing a risk of global climate catastrophe.
VIDEO John Holdren Climate Challenge Lecture

The medical profession has urged responsible action on emissions.
Failure to agree on a new UN climate deal ...
will bring "a global health catastrophe."

— 18 of the world's professional medical organizations writing in 
The Lancet and The British Medical Journal, 15 September 2009

The situation for our future is now critical.

  • Negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions are on hold and no new measures are on the UN climate agenda until after 2020.
  • Emissions are increasing as fast as ever.
  • All energy plans are for continued fossil fuel dominance and dependence to 2100.
  • Atmospheric CO2 is the highest it has been in 15 million years, increasing at an unprecedented rate (IPCC 2007) and now faster than ever.
  • Atmospheric methane is over double its 800,000 year maximum, now increasing due to planetary feedback methane emissions.
  • Extreme weather events and drought — affecting crop yields — are increasing, especially in the Northern hemisphere.
  • All amplifying Arctic feedbacks are operant, with Arctic summer sea ice past its ice free tipping point.
  • Oceans are being acidified, faster than in the past 300 million years (Hönisch, 2012; see References), by atmospheric CO2.
  • We are committed (locked in) to several times today's global warming (far above 2ºC) due to climate system inertias.

We must declare the planetary climate change emergency.

We must prepare for the worst ever environmental and population health calamity — of unprecedented proportions.

Many warnings have been issued, but it is going to take enormous pressure to persuade governments, intent on supporting further fossil fuel energy expansion, that an emergency response is imperative.

"Staying above 350 ppm CO2 for long risks irreversible
catastrophic effects." (We are now over 395 ppm.)

— James Hansen in Target Atmospheric CO2, 2009 [pdf]

"This is an emergency and ... we need emergency action."
— United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2009

"The question now is whether we can
avoid catastrophic interference [with the climate system]."
Dr. John P. Holdren, US Presidential Science Advisor, 2008 [pdf]

"Climate change is the biggest
global health threat of the 21st century."
— Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, 2009 in Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change [pdf]

"Human-induced climate change requires urgent action."

— American Geophysical Union revised global climate change statement, August 2013

"In the face of an absolutely unprecedented emergency, society has no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilization."
— Blue Planet Laureates, February 2012 to Rio+20

Latest Must-Know Climate Change Emergency News

"The last decade was the hottest on record. 2012 was the hottest year for the USA. With the exception of 1988, the nine warmest years in the 132-year global weather record have all occurred since the year 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranked as the hottest."
— NOAA, State of the Climate in 2012, 2013

The world's best Northern Hemisphere food-producing regions have experienced episodic severe heat, drought and extreme weather events that have damaged crops.

"In most countries there is a discernible reduction in crop yield trends due to climate change."
— D. Lobell et al, in Science, May 2011

All Arctic carbon feedbacks are now kicking in. Carbon feedbacks are, by definition, the most dangerous effect of global warming because they boost global warming further. The Arctic contains massive vulnerable pools of carbon.

"Global climates only slightly warmer than today are sufficient to thaw significant regions of permafrost." Siberian permafrost has a tipping point of a 1.5ºC global warming.
— A. Vaks et al, in Science, February 2013

East Siberian shelf sub seafloor frozen solid methane gas hydrate is venting to the atmosphere and is capable of "causing a considerable and even catastrophic warming on the Earth."
— Sergienko et al, in Oceanology, March 2012

According to Ramanathan and Feng (2008), today's temperature increase commitment is 2.4ºC, which is three times today's global warming of 0.8ºC.

Analyses by the Climate Interactive Scoreboard and Climate Action Tracker show that current national "pledges" to cut emissions commit the world to a 4ºC temperature increase by 2100, which is a commitment of 7ºC over the next few hundred years (due to inertia of the ocean heat lag).

There is still no formal acknowledgement of the climate change emergency or that the world is beyond dangerous interference with the climate system (1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). The latest UN climate conferences have led only to the Copenhagen Accord, which includes various national emissions reduction "pledges" but no binding commitments, and no agreement on any limits other than the "disastrous" (James Hansen, 2008) 1996 EU policy target of 2°C for global temperature increase.

"The potential for runaway greenhouse warming is real and has never been more clear."
UNEP Year Book, 2009

Global climate change and other ongoing persistent global environmental problems "threaten humanity's very survival.... The need couldn't be more urgent ... to act now to safeguard our own survival and that of future generations."
UNEP GEO-4, 2007

"Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk."
— Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, in Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change [pdf]

"Unless decisive action is taken now, the world will face global public health and environmental catastrophe. We believe that the health and healthcare community can, and must, spearhead a major movement for change."
The Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom

"If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."
Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007

Global Warming Thermometer

We are on track for over six degrees of global warming by 2100, which constitutes a climate change planetary emergency and a threat to the very survival of humanity.

(Figure 1 below)

Global Warming with A1F1 scenario

Figure 1: Today's global greenhouse gas emissions are tracking towards
the IPCC's worst case scenario (A1FI).

Global Warming Thermometer


Doctors and concerned professionals in other leading institutions have a vital role to play in safeguarding future generations from planetary catastrophe — but only by acting today.

Why healthcare professionals? The medical community is in a special position to respond to this crisis. There is no profession better qualified to understand the huge risks humanity is running, to define "dangerous" climate change, and to prescribe the best remedial measures for diminishing the disaster and preventing total climate catastrophe.

The declaration of this planetary climate change emergency and summons to a global emergency response would naturally come first from these professions.

Only an international declaration of a state of global climate change emergency can rapidly rectify this situation, by leading to a concerted international emergency response to rescue all future generations.

Nations are still targeting the 1996 EU policy compromise of 2ºC global warming, which according to the latest science is disastrous and invites catastrophe. (More...)

It is CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE's mission to help concerned professionals (especially doctors) contribute to remedying this situation, and to link with support from other concerned citizens.

The world needs policies and planning based on the avoidance of any risk of irreversible, catastrophic climate change tipping points. This site therefore addresses the worst risks as well as the worst predicted impacts. (More...)

Why the urgency? In short, all (inevitable) carbon feedbacks to global warming are now operant. This is a climate change emergency. With

  • the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere still accelerating
  • atmospheric methane (currently 2.5 times preindustrial levels) increasing further due to planetary carbon feedback source methane emissions
  • GHG emissions tracking the IPCC's worst case scenario
  • thawing permafrost emitting methane, CO2 and nitrous oxide
  • methane emitting from the Arctic seafloor into the atmosphere off the coast of Siberia
  • oceans being acidified at an unprecedented rate
  • a huge decline in the oceans' phytoplankton

a large risk of passing irreversible, catastrophic tipping points now clearly exists. (More...)

There is still no formal statement that the world is beyond "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" (UN climate convention) and no declaration of a global climate crisis or planetary state of emergency.

Industrialized nations continue to block the way to an agreement that would prevent catastrophic global climate change. All nations are bound by the 1992 UN climate convention to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.

Global Warming Thermometer

Medical debate about global warming has so far emphasized the planning and response to global climate change. It is therefore timely that we draw a parallel to medical involvement in the nuclear weapons disarmament movement in the 1980s....

Doctors now have a similar particular responsibility in the fight to achieve urgent international reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Firstly, we can point to the futility of expending our energy, enterprise and long-term investment in advancing health care in the absence of action to preserve a livable planet....

We can [also] inform the debate with reliable data on the health consequences of global warming, and use our professional voice and leadership to instill it with urgency.

Dr. Richard F. Kefford, Professor of Medicine 
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE assists in building a global voice of concerned professionals, particularly healthcare professionals, to ensure a healthy and habitable planet for future generations — of all species. The emergency medical responses suggested in this website are based on

the most current scientific research,

the leading expert opinions on the risks to humanity,

an agreement that humanity is far beyond dangerous interference with the climate system, and

a common understanding that humans are facing a dire and unprecedented planetary climate change emergency.

What's the first step? Click on the Climate Change Emergency button below for immediate action steps, or on a link below or to the left to learn about the risks and to see how doctors and other healthcare professionals can take action on global climate change.

No New Treaty
Stalled UN climate negotiations mean no new treaty is on the way, heightening the climate emergency.
Just as doctors seek evidence when making a diagnosis, this page links to evidence of the climate change emergency for health professionals who want to learn about their role in mitigation.
State of the Climate
State of the Climate is a research summary on methane emissions and other carbon feedbacks, especially in the Arctic, which threaten life on Earth.
Dangers of global warming and climate change
Defining Dangerous Climate Change
Defining dangerous climate change impacts and risks in terms of threats to human population health and survival is something the health care profession is qualified to do.
Climate Science
Climate science includes essential aspects of global climate science to explain why today's global warming is twice what we think it is.
Climate Change Commitment
Already committed or locked in global warming
Emergency Action
EMERGENCY ACTION is a one-stop webpage for doctors and other health care professionals who want to respond to the climate change emergency.
Why Climate Change is an Emergency
Here is abundant evidence showing why climate change is an emergency and an increasing threat to the very survival of humanity.
Food Security and Climate Change
The biggest health risk of global climate change will be its impact on food security, yet climate models don't include all the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture.
Why the 2 Degree Target is Far Too High
Although the 2 degree target for global warming is now almost a universally accepted policy position for global climate change mitigation, it is disastrously high!
IPCC climate change assessments
The UNFCCC (Climate Change Convention) and Health
These excerpts from the UNFCCC (the United Nations climate change convention) highlight the intersections between climate change, health and policy.
Climate Change Solutions
This page lists global warming and climate change solutions for health professionals to promote.
Climate Change Emergency Declaration
We call on our healthcare, other professional associations, religious and our governments to make a climate change emergency declaration on behalf of present and future vulnerable populations.
The Medical Response to Climate Change is Growing
The medical response to climate change is growing. Medical associations, medical journals and medical researchers are starting to focus on the impacts of climate change on human and population health.
Climate Change Emergency Links
Climate change emergency links to educational and action websites on the greatest threat ever.
Follow-up is a list of ways that doctors and other healthcare workers can disseminate and teach what they have learned about the global climate change emergency.
Mission of Climate Change Emergency Medical Response
The mission of Climate Change Emergency Medical Response is to provide a one-stop resource on the planetary climate change emergency and remedial action.
Climate Change Emergency References
This climate change emergency references page lists the citations of research studies on the current state of the climate and why it is heading to climate catastrophe.
Climate Change Emergency Updates
Check out these climate change emergency updates on a regular basis, to see what's new in the science of global climate change.
About this site and who we are
Site Map
This is a site map of Climate Change Emergency Medical

2014 Climate Action Network Int. Position for UN COP20 20014 and COP21 2015.


2014 Lancet From Public to Planetary Health:
A Manifesto

2014 BMJ Climate Change & Human Survival

2014 BMJ Climate Change
is a Health Emergency

2014 1st WHO Conference on Health & Climate 

Global Climate Health Alliance-declare public health emergency

IPCC 5th Assessment

Climate & Health Council

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Join the 30 Months to Save the World campaign.

Earth's latest data for atmospheric CO2