Microbiologists' Warning to Humanity

Sign our petition to highlight the critical importance of microorganisms in the climate emergency

We invite all microbiologists to endorse the Microbiologists’ Warning – microorganisms are so critical to achieving an environmentally sustainable future that ignoring them risks the fate of Humanity.

If you have microbiology training, we invite you to endorse our Consensus Statement published in Nature Reviews Microbiology entitled “Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: microorganisms and climate change”. Our Microbiologists’ Warning aims to raise awareness of the microbial world and make a call to action for microbiologists to become increasingly engaged in, and microbial research to become increasingly infused into, the frameworks for addressing climate change.

Before signing, please ensure you have read the Consensus Statement and/or summary that includes the abstract, introduction, description of Scientist’s Warning Movement, and the Microbiologists’ call to action from the Consensus Statement. By signing the article and adding your name, you will be indicating that you generally agree with our Consensus Statement and will therefore be helping to amplify our message to Humanity.

2021: Translations of the Consensus Statement are available in ChineseTurkish, French, PortugueseSpanish and Russian.

The Scientists' Warning Movement

The motivation for the Microbiologists’ Warning comes from the Alliance of World Scientists (AWS) and the Scientists’ Warning Movement that was initiated by Bill Ripple (Oregon State University) to alert humanity to the impacts of human activities on global climate and the environment. In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists alerted humanity to the threat of climate change and the need for sustainability with 1,700 scientists signing the first Warning. Twenty-five years later (2017) more than 15,000 scientists signed the Second Warning, with the total reaching 21,000+ in 2019. At the heart of the Warning is a call to governments and institutions to shift policy away from economic growth and towards a conservation economy that will stop environmental destruction and enable human activities to achieve a sustainable future. A film, The Second Warning, is currently being made that aims to document scientists’ advocacy for humanity to replace ‘business as usual’ and take action to achieve the survival of all species by averting the continuing environmental and climate change crisis. Linked to the Second Warning is also a series of focused Scientists’ Warning articles (50+), including our Microbiologists’ Warning. In early 2020 the World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency was published with endorsements from 11,000+ scientists, and the website is still taking signatures.

To grow the Microbiologists’ Warning, signatories are encouraged to work with their professional societies to write additional article(s) addressing specific aspects of microorganisms and climate change related to members’ expertise, and particularly emphasizing issues of national relevance.

The ability of science and society to address climate change will be considerably empowered by microbiologists, by agencies demonstrably incorporating microorganisms into their ‘thinking’, and by broadly enhancing microbial literacy in society.

Microbiologists can also contribute to efforts as world scientists' warning of a climate emergency and by looking to engage in a variety of ways to act on our own warnings to humanity.

2021: Despite promising developments, the need for climate action has grown even more urgent this year - read The Climate Emergency: 2020 in Review and watch this video on six steps for climate mitigation.

In July 2021, the World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2021 was published. Bill Ripple explains that “…..despite the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action to date has been insufficient and current planetary vital signs reflect the catastrophic consequences of conducting business as usual. Renewing our call for transformative action, we propose specific policies including phasing out and ultimately banning fossil fuels.”

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Australian Society for Microbiology

South African Society for Microbiology

Georgian Association of General and Applied Microbiology

British Mycological Society

Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

Italian Association of Oceanology and Limnology

American Society for Microbiology

American Society for Virology 

Society for Microbiology of Moldova

Microbiology Society (UK and Republic of Ireland)

Spanish Society for Microbiology

Belgian Society for Microbiology

Polish Society of Microbiologists


Brazilian Society of Microbiology

Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)

Egyptian Society of Virology

Association of Microbiologists of India

Turkish Society of Microbiology

Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)

French Society for Microbiology (SFM)

Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology (KMB)

Canadian Society of Microbiologists

Interregional Russian Microbiology Society

Singapore Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology (SSMB)

Israel Society for Microbiology

Portuguese Society of Microbiology

Italian Society for General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology (SIMGBM)

International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Society (IBBS)

Iranian Society of Microbiology (ISM)

New Zealand Microbiological Society (NZMS)

Italian Society of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Microbiology (SIMTREA)

Italian Association for the Study and Applications of Microalgae (AISAM)

International Society for Human and Animal Mycology

Haitian Society of Hygiene, Microbiology and Preventive Medicine (HASOHMED) and the Queensland University (UQ) of Haiti

Mexican Association of Microbiology

Danish Microbiological Society

Finnish Biochemical, Biophysical, and Microbiological Society (Biobio)

International Society for Plant Pathology

Lithuanian Microbiological Society

International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms (ISVM)

German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM)

Czechoslovak Society for Microbiology (CSSM)

Italian Society for Virology (ISV)

Spanish Society of Virology (SEV)

Luxembourg Society for Microbiology (LSfM)

Italian Society of Microbiology (SIM)

Royal Netherlands Society for Microbiology (KNVM)

Norwegian Society for Microbiology (NFM)

Latvian Society for Microbiology (LMB)

Pakistan Society for Microbiology

Hellenic Zoological Society (HZS)

Spanish Society of Biotechnology (SEBiot)

Taiwan Society of Microbiology

Estonian Society for Microbiology

Indian Association of Pathologists & Microbiologists

Chinese Limnology Society

Chinese Freshwater Ecology Society

Serbian Society for Microbiology

Hungarian Society for Microbiology (MMT)

Society for Virology (GfV)

Swedish Association for Microbiology (SFM)

Chilean Society of Microbiology (SOMICH)

British Phycological Society

Austrian Association of Molecular Life Sciences and Biotechnology (ÖGMBT)

International Society of Protistologists (ISOP)

The Microbiological Society of Korea (MSK)


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Where have the signatures come from?

We've received endorsements from Microbiologists all over the world. Here's where they come from:

Organisations that endorse the Microbiologists' Warning

Along with a host of academics, many organisations have added their name to our petition. View their location here:

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