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Planetary Boundary Study
Planetary Boundary Study

 

Introduction

  • New study updates the planetary boundary framework.
  • Human activities are increasingly affecting Earth's conditions, increasing the risk of drastic changes.

Historical Context

  • For over 3 billion years, life and climate have interacted to regulate Earth's environment.
  • Human activities such as deforestation, water management, chemical pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions influence these natural processes.

Importance of Maintaining Earth System Interactions

  • It's crucial to maintain Earth conditions similar to those in the past ~12,000 years to avoid triggering dramatic changes.
  • Such changes could adversely impact Earth's capacity to support modern civilizations.

Planetary Boundaries Framework

  • Nine "planetary boundaries" represent critical components of Earth's global environment.
  • Framework aims to define a "safe operating space" for humanity based on the latest scientific understanding.

 
Metrics and Findings

  • Metrics for all nine boundaries are presented for the first time.
  • Six of the boundaries have been transgressed, and the situation is worsening for all except the ozone layer.
  • A narrow focus on climate change is inadequate.

Study's Background

  • Published in Science Advances.
  • Involved 29 scientists from eight countries.

Analogy with Human Health

  • Katherine Richardson likens the transgressing of planetary boundaries to elevated blood pressure, suggesting an increased risk but not a guarantee of disaster.

Need for Interdisciplinary Focus

  • More attention is needed on the interactions between the different boundaries.
  • Climate change and biosphere integrity are identified as the two main pillars of Earth's stability.

Impact on Biodiversity

  • Increasing global use of biomass impacts Land Use Change boundary.
  • Humans are appropriating ~30% of the energy supporting biodiversity since before the Industrial Revolution.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Existing efforts like the Paris agreement and COP15 are insufficient.
  • A holistic approach requiring novel Earth system models and efforts to protect planetary resilience is needed.

The study hopes to serve as a wake-up call for limiting human impact on Earth to ensure the survival and flourishing of advanced human societies.


Author: Grimloch
09/30/2023, 07:45
Category: World Stage
Comments: 2
Views: 186

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Comments (2)
Shannon
Shannon Editor

10/08/2023, 19:53


Soil erosion is another terrible thing we have done. I read an article the other day that said, even though it's not talked about, soil erosion is one of the worst, most dangerous things we have done.

Terry
Terry Editor

10/09/2023, 01:12


How very true Shannon. De-forestation of the amazon and other forests all over the world not only leads to destruction of natural habitats for animals but then exposes the land to erosion which further destroys the eco-system. That's only one of many many destructive practices that are taking place all over the world.


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