Mankind already exceeded safe boundaries for Earth?

Are there boundaries to the pressure mankind can put om the Earth? Are we near them or have we exceeded them? These are some of the questions researchers at the Stockholm Resilience Center have been asking.

Image; Stockholm Resilience Centre.

– The human pressure on the Earth System has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. To continue to live and operate safely, humanity has to stay away from critical ‘hard-wired´ thresholds in Earth´s environment, and respect the nature of planet’s climatic, geophysical, atmospheric and ecological processes, says lead author Johan Rockström, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

He warns that transgressing planetary boundaries may be devastating for humanity, but if we respect them we have a bright future for centuries ahead.

An article published in Nature describes how over a third have already been transgressed.

The three of the nine are climate change, biological diversity and nitrogen input to the biosphere.

Here is the complete list.

  • Stratospheric ozone layer
  • Biodiversity
  • Chemicals dispersion
  • Climate Change
  • Ocean acidification
  • Freshwater consumption and the global hydrological cycle
  • Land system change
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the biosphere and oceans
  • Atmospheric aerosol loading

Read the full article on the Author’s home page.

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