Signed at the time by a number of Nobel laureates in science, the 25-year-old open letter outlined that mankind is on a "collision course" with the natural word.
In the journal BioScience, the scientists, led by USA ecologist Professor William Ripple, said: "Humanity is now being given a second notice. we are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats". "Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, majority are getting far worse".
"Some people might be tempted to dismiss this evidence and think we are just being alarmist", said Ripple.
Co-author Thomas Newsome, a research fellow at Deakin University and The University of Sydney, said he believed this was possibly the biggest number of signatories to any published scientific paper. Newsome says that on their first callout day, four months ago, they attracted almost 600 signatories.
The "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: Second Notice", calls for action to avert irreversible damage to the planet.
"In this paper we look back on these trends and evaluate the subsequent human response by exploring the available data", Newsome said.
Today, scientists have taken grassroots action, with a scorecard showing that of nine areas only one has improved: our ozone.
If the world doesn't act soon, there will be catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery, the letter warns.
A large part of these environmental catastrophes are due to the rise in human population.
Over this time, human numbers have increased by 2 billion, or 35 percent.
"By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere", they write.
The new statement-a "Second Notice" to humanity-does acknowledge that there have been some positive steps forward, such as the drop in ozone depleters and advancements in reducing hunger since the 1992 warning. It lists what they consider the main dangers, including climate change, population growth, deforestation, species extinction, and loss of access to clean water, and highlights how terribly we are doing at tackling them. Just this month, measurements from satellites showed the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was the smallest it has been since 1988, according to scientists from NASA and NOAA. However, the article also reports that progress has been made in addressing some trends during this time.
Now researchers have issued the follow-up letter, spearheaded by ecologist William Ripple of Oregon State University, in a communique published in the journal BioScience on November 13.