ArticlePDF Available
A
lthough Earth has undergone many
periods of significant environmen-
tal change, the planets environment
has been unusually stable for the past 10,000
years
1–3
. This period of stability — known to
geologists as the Holocene — has seen human
civilizations arise, develop and thrive. Such
stability may now be under threat. Since the
Industrial Revolution, a new era has arisen,
the Anthropocene
4
, in which human actions
have become the main driver of global envi-
ronmental change
5
. This could see human
activities push the Earth system outside the
stable environmental state of the Holocene,
with consequences that are detrimental or
even catastrophic for large parts of the world.
During the Holocene, environmental
change occurred naturally and Earths regu-
latory capacity maintained the conditions
that enabled human development. Regular
temperatures, freshwater availability and
biogeochemical flows all stayed within a rela-
tively narrow range. Now, largely because of
a rapidly growing reliance on fossil fuels and
industrialized forms of agriculture, human
activities have reached a level that could dam-
age the systems that keep Earth in the desirable
Holocene state. The result could be irrevers-
ible and, in some cases, abrupt environmental
change, leading to a state less conducive to
human development
6
. Without pressure from
humans, the Holocene is expected to continue
for at least several thousands of years
7
.
Planetary boundaries
To meet the challenge of maintaining the
Holocene state, we propose a framework
based on ‘planetary boundaries. These
A safe operating space for humanity
Identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human
activities from causing unacceptable environmental change, argue
Johan RockstrÖm
and colleagues.
Figure 1 | Beyond the boundary. The inner green shading represents the proposed safe operating
space for nine planetary systems. The red wedges represent an estimate of the current position for
each variable. The boundaries in three systems (rate of biodiversity loss, climate change and human
interference with the nitrogen cycle), have already been exceeded.
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SUMMARY
New approach proposed for defining preconditions for human
development
Crossing certain biophysical thresholds could have disastrous
consequences for humanity
Three of nine interlinked planetary boundaries have already been
overstepped
boundaries define the safe operating space
for humanity with respect to the Earth system
and are associated with the planets bio-
physical subsystems or processes. Although
Earths complex systems sometimes respond
smoothly to changing pressures, it seems that
this will prove to be the exception rather than
the rule. Many subsystems of Earth react in
a nonlinear, often abrupt, way, and are par-
ticularly sensitive around threshold levels of
certain key variables. If these thresholds are
crossed, then important subsystems, such as a
monsoon system, could shift into a new state,
often with deleterious or potentially even
disastrous consequences for humans
8,9
.
Most of these thresholds can be defined by
a critical value for one or more control vari-
ables, such as carbon dioxide concentration.
Not all processes or subsystems on Earth have
well-defined thresholds, although human
actions that undermine the resilience of such
processes or subsystems — for example, land
and water degradation — can increase the risk
that thresholds will also be crossed in other
processes, such as the climate system.
We have tried to identify the Earth-system
processes and associated thresholds which, if
crossed, could generate unacceptable envi-
ronmental change. We have found nine such
processes for which we believe it is neces-
sary to define planetary boundaries: climate
change; rate of biodiversity loss (terrestrial
and marine); interference with the nitrogen
and phosphorus cycles; stratospheric ozone
depletion; ocean acidification; global fresh-
water use; change in land use; chemical pol-
lution; and atmospheric aerosol loading (see
Fig. 1 and Table).
In general, planetary boundaries are values
for control variables that are either at a ‘safe
distance from thresholds — for processes
with evidence of threshold behaviour — or
at dangerous levels — for processes without
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evidence of thresholds. Determining a safe
distance involves normative judgements of
how societies choose to deal with risk and
uncertainty. We have taken a conservative,
risk-averse approach to quantifying our plan-
etary boundaries, taking into account the large
uncertainties that surround the true position
of many thresholds. (A detailed description
of the boundaries — and the analyses behind
them — is given in ref. 10.)
Humanity may soon be approaching the
boundaries for global freshwater use, change
in land use, ocean acidification and interfer-
ence with the global phosphorous cycle (see
Fig. 1). Our analysis suggests that three of the
Earth-system processes — climate change, rate
of biodiversity loss and interference with the
nitrogen cycle — have already transgressed
their boundaries. For the latter two of these,
the control variables are the rate of species loss
and the rate at which N
2
is removed from the
atmosphere and converted to reactive nitrogen
for human use, respectively. These are rates of
change that cannot continue without signifi-
cantly eroding the resilience of major compo-
nents of Earth-system functioning. Here we
describe these three processes.
Climate change
Anthropogenic climate change is now beyond
dispute, and in the run-up to the climate
negotiations in Copenhagen this December,
the international discussions on targets for
climate mitigation have intensified. There is
a growing convergence towards a ‘2 °C guard-
rail’ approach, that is, containing the rise in
global mean temperature to no more than 2 °C
above the pre-industrial level.
Our proposed climate boundary is based
on two critical thresholds that separate quali-
tatively different climate-system states. It has
two parameters: atmospheric concentration
of carbon dioxide and radiative forcing (the
rate of energy change per unit area of the
globe as measured at the top of the atmos-
phere). We propose that human changes to
atmospheric CO
2
concentrations should not
exceed 350 parts per million by volume, and
that radiative forcing should not exceed 1 watt
per square metre above pre-industrial levels.
Transgressing these boundaries will increase
the risk of irreversible climate change, such as
the loss of major ice sheets, accelerated sea-
level rise and abrupt shifts in forest and agri-
cultural systems. Current CO
2
concentration
stands at 387 p.p.m.v. and the change in radia-
tive forcing is 1.5 W m
−2
(ref. 11).
There are at least three reasons for our pro-
posed climate boundary. First, current cli-
mate models may significantly underestimate
the severity of long-term climate change for
a given concentration of greenhouse gases
12
.
Most models
11
suggest that a doubling in
atmospheric CO
2
concentration will lead to a
global temperature rise of about 3 °C (with a
probable uncertainty range of 2–4.5 °C) once
the climate has regained equilibrium. But these
models do not include long-term reinforcing
feedback processes that further warm the cli-
mate, such as decreases in the surface area of
ice cover or changes in the distribution of veg-
etation. If these slow feedbacks are included,
doubling CO
2
levels gives an eventual tempera-
ture increase of 6 °C (with a probable uncer-
tainty range of 4–8 °C). This would threaten
the ecological life-support systems that have
developed in the late Quaternary environment,
and would severely challenge the viability of
contemporary human societies.
The second consideration is the stability of
the large polar ice sheets. Palaeo climate data
from the past 100 million years show that
CO
2
concentrations were a major factor in the
long-term cooling of the past 50 million years.
Moreover, the planet was largely ice-free until
CO
2
concentrations fell below 450 p.p.m.v.
(±100 p.p.m.v.), suggesting that there is a crit-
ical threshold between 350 and 550 p.p.m.v.
(ref. 12). Our boundary of 350 p.p.m.v. aims
to ensure the continued existence of the large
polar ice sheets.
Third, we are beginning to see evidence that
some of Earths subsystems are already mov-
ing outside their stable Holocene state. This
includes the rapid retreat of the summer sea
ice in the Arctic ocean
13
, the retreat of moun-
tain glaciers around the world
11
, the loss of
mass from the Greenland and West Antarctic
ice sheets
14
and the accelerating rates of sea-
level rise during the past 10–15 years
15
.
Rate of biodiversity loss
Species extinction is a natural process, and
would occur without human actions. How-
ever, biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene has
accelerated massively. Species are becoming
extinct at a rate that has not been seen since
the last global mass-extinction event
16
.
The fossil record shows that the back-
ground extinction rate for marine life is 0.1–1
extinctions per million species per year; for
PLANETARY BOUNDARIES
Earth-system process Parameters Proposed
boundary
Current
status
Pre-industrial
value
Climate change (i) Atmospheric carbon dioxide
concentration (parts per million
by volume)
350 387 280
(ii) Change in radiative forcing
(watts per metre squared)
1 1.5 0
Rate of biodiversity loss Extinction rate (number of species
per million species per year)
10 >100 0.1–1
Nitrogen cycle (part
of a boundary with the
phosphorus cycle)
Amount of N
2
removed from
the atmosphere for human use
(millions of tonnes per year)
35 121 0
Phosphorus cycle (part
of a boundary with the
nitrogen cycle)
Quantity of P flowing into the
oceans (millions of tonnes per year)
11 8.5–9.5 ~1
Stratospheric ozone
depletion
Concentration of ozone (Dobson
unit)
276 283 290
Ocean acidification Global mean saturation state of
aragonite in surface sea water
2.75 2.90 3.44
Global freshwater use Consumption of freshwater
by humans (km
3
per year)
4,000 2,600 415
Change in land use Percentage of global land cover
converted to cropland
15 11.7 Low
Atmospheric aerosol
loading
Overall particulate concentration in
the atmosphere, on a regional basis
To be determined
Chemical pollution For example, amount emitted to,
or concentration of persistent
organic pollutants, plastics,
endocrine disrupters, heavy metals
and nuclear waste in, the global
environment, or the effects on
ecosystem and functioning of Earth
system thereof
To be determined
Boundaries for processes in red have been crossed. Data sources: ref. 10 and supplementary information
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mammals it is 0.2–0.5 extinctions per million
species per year
16
. Today, the rate of extinction
of species is estimated to be 100 to 1,000 times
more than what could be considered natural.
As with climate change, human activities are
the main cause of the acceleration. Changes
in land use exert the most significant effect.
These changes include the conversion of natu-
ral ecosystems into agriculture or into urban
areas; changes in frequency, duration or mag-
nitude of wildfires and similar disturbances;
and the introduction of new species into land
and freshwater environments
17
. The speed of
climate change will become a more important
driver of change in biodiversity this century,
leading to an accelerating rate of species loss
18
.
Up to 30% of all mammal, bird and amphib-
ian species will be threatened with extinction
this century
19
.
Biodiversity loss occurs at the local to
regional level, but it can have pervasive effects
on how the Earth system functions, and it inter-
acts with several other planetary boundaries.
For example, loss of biodiversity can increase
the vulnerability of terrestrial and aquatic eco-
systems to changes in climate and ocean acidity,
thus reducing the safe boundary levels of these
processes. There is growing understanding of
the importance of functional biodiversity in
preventing ecosystems from tipping into unde-
sired states when they are disturbed
20
. This
means that apparent redundancy is required to
maintain an ecosystems resilience. Ecosystems
that depend on a few or single species for criti-
cal functions are vulnerable to disturbances,
such as disease, and at a greater risk of tipping
into undesired states
8,21
.
From an Earth-system perspective, set-
ting a boundary for biodiversity is difficult.
Although it is now accepted that a rich mix
of species underpins the resilience of ecosys-
tems
20,21
, little is known quantitatively about
how much and what kinds of biodiversity
can be lost before this resilience is eroded
22
.
This is particularly true at the scale of Earth
as a whole, or for major subsystems such as
the Borneo rainforests or the Amazon Basin.
Ideally, a planetary boundary should capture
the role of biodiversity in regulating the resil-
ience of systems on Earth. Because science
cannot yet provide such information at an
aggregate level, we propose extinction rate
as an alternative (but weaker) indicator. As a
result, our suggested planetary boundary for
biodiversity of ten times the background rates
of extinction is only a very preliminary esti-
mate. More research is required to pin down
this boundary with greater certainty. However,
we can say with some confidence that Earth
cannot sustain the current rate of loss without
significant erosion of ecosystem resilience.
Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles
Modern agriculture is a major cause of envi-
ronmental pollution, including large-scale
nitrogen- and phosphorus-induced environ-
mental change
23
. At the planetary scale, the
additional amounts of nitrogen and phospho-
rus activated by humans are now so large that
they significantly perturb the global cycles of
these two important elements
24,25
.
Human processes — primarily the manu-
facture of fertilizer for food production and
the cultivation of leguminous crops — con-
vert around 120 million tonnes of N
2
from
the atmosphere per year into reactive forms
— which is more than the combined effects
from all Earths terrestrial processes. Much of
this new reactive nitrogen ends up in the envi-
ronment, polluting waterways and the coastal
zone, accumulating in land systems and add-
ing a number of gases to the atmosphere.
It slowly erodes the resilience of important
Earth subsystems. Nitrous oxide, for exam-
ple, is one of the most important non-CO
2
greenhouse gases and thus directly increases
radiative forcing.
Anthropogenic distortion of the nitro-
gen cycle and phosphorus flows has shifted
the state of lake systems from clear to turbid
water
26
. Marine ecosystems have been subject
to similar shifts, for example, during periods
of anoxia in the Baltic Sea caused by exces-
sive nutrients
27
. These and other nutrient-
generated impacts justify the formulation
of a planetary boundary for nitrogen and
phosphorus flows, which we propose should
be kept together as one boundary given their
close interactions with other Earth-system
processes.
Setting a planetary boundary for human
modification of the nitrogen cycle is not
straightforward. We have defined the bound-
ary by considering the human fixation of N
2
from the atmosphere as a giant ‘valve’ that con-
trols a massive flow of new reactive nitrogen
into Earth. As a first guess, we suggest that this
valve should contain the flow of new reactive
nitrogen to 25% of its current value, or about
35 million tonnes of nitrogen per year. Given
the implications of trying to reach this target,
much more research and synthesis of informa-
tion is required to determine a more informed
boundary.
Unlike nitrogen, phosphorus is a fossil min-
eral that accumulates as a result of geological
processes. It is mined from rock and its uses
range from fertilizers to toothpaste. Some 20
million tonnes of phosphorus is mined every
year and around 8.5 million–9.5 million
tonnes of it finds its way into the oceans
25,28
.
This is estimated to be approximately eight
times the natural background rate of influx.
Records of Earth history show that large-
scale ocean anoxic events occur when critical
thresholds of phosphorus inflow to the oceans
are crossed. This potentially explains past mass
extinctions of marine life. Modelling sug-
gests that a sustained increase of phosphorus
flowing into the oceans exceeding 20% of the
natural background weathering was enough to
induce past ocean anoxic events
29
.
Our tentative modelling estimates suggest
that if there is a greater than tenfold increase
in phosphorus flowing into the oceans (com-
pared with pre-industrial levels), then anoxic
ocean events become more likely within 1,000
years. Despite the large uncertainties involved,
the state of current science and the present
observations of abrupt phosphorus-induced
regional anoxic events indicate that no more
than 11 million tonnes of phosphorus per year
should be allowed to flow into the oceans —
ten times the natural background rate. We
estimate that this boundary level will allow
humanity to safely steer away from the risk of
ocean anoxic events for more than 1,000 years,
acknowledging that current levels already
exceed critical thresholds for many estuaries
and freshwater systems.
Delicate balance
Although the planetary boundaries are
described in terms of individual quantities
and separate processes, the boundaries are
tightly coupled. We do not have the luxury of
concentrating our efforts on any one of them
in isolation from the others. If one boundary
is transgressed, then other boundaries are also
under serious risk. For instance, significant
land-use changes in the Amazon could influ-
ence water resources as far away as Tibet
30
.
The climate-change boundary depends on
staying on the safe side of the freshwater, land,
aerosol, nitrogen–phosphorus, ocean and
stratospheric boundaries. Transgressing the
nitrogen–phosphorus boundary can erode the
resilience of some marine ecosystems, poten-
tially reducing their capacity to absorb CO
2
and thus affecting the climate boundary.
The boundaries we propose represent a new
approach to defining biophysical precondi-
tions for human development. For the first
time, we are trying to quantify the safe lim-
its outside of which the Earth system cannot
continue to function in a stable, Holocene-like
state.
The approach rests on three branches of sci-
entific enquiry. The first addresses the scale
of human action in relation to the capacity
of Earth to sustain it. This is a significant
feature of the ecological economics research
agenda
31
, drawing on knowledge of the essen-
tial role of the life-support properties of the
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environment for human wellbeing
32,33
and
the biophysical constraints for the growth of
the economy
34,35
. The second is the work on
understanding essential Earth processes
6,36,37
including human actions
23,38
, brought together
in the fields of global change research and sus-
tainability science
39
. The third field of enquiry
is research into resilience
40–42
and its links to
complex dynamics
43,44
and self-regulation of
living systems
45,46
, emphasizing thresholds and
shifts between states
8
.
Although we present evidence that three
boundaries have been overstepped, there
remain many gaps in our knowledge. We have
tentatively quantified seven boundaries, but
some of the figures are merely our first best
guesses. Furthermore, because many of the
boundaries are linked, exceeding one will have
implications for others in ways that we do not
as yet completely understand. There is also sig-
nificant uncertainty over how long it takes to
cause dangerous environmental change or to
trigger other feedbacks that drastically reduce
the ability of the Earth system, or important
subsystems, to return to safe levels.
The evidence so far suggests that, as long as
the thresholds are not crossed, humanity has
the freedom to pursue long-term social and
economic development.
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Editor’s note This Feature is an edited summary of
a longer paper available at the Stockholm Resilience
Centre (http://www.stockholmresilience.org/
planetary-boundaries). To facilitate debate and
discussion, we are simultaneously publishing a
number of linked Commentaries from independent
experts in some of the disciplines covered by the
planetary boundaries concept. Please note that this
Feature and the Commentaries are not peer-reviewed
research. This Feature, the full paper and the expert
Commentaries can all be accessed from http://tinyurl.
com/planetboundaries.
See Editorial, page 447. Join the debate. Visit
http://tinyurl.com/boundariesblog to discuss this
article. For more on the climate, see www.nature.
com/climatecrunch.
Authors
Johan Rockström
1,2
, Will Steffen
1,3
, Kevin Noone
1,4
, Åsa Persson
1,2
, F. Stuart Chapin, III
5
, Eric F. Lambin
6
, Timothy M. Lenton
7
, Marten Scheffer
8
, Carl Folke
1,9
,
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
10,11
, Björn Nykvist
1,2
, Cynthia A. de Wit
4
, Terry Hughes
12
, Sander van der Leeuw
13
, Henning Rodhe
14
, Sverker Sörlin
1,15
, Peter K.
Snyder
16
, Robert Costanza
1,17
, Uno Svedin
1
, Malin Falkenmark
1,18
, Louise Karlberg
1,2
, Robert W. Corell
19
, Victoria J. Fabry
20
, James Hansen
21
, Brian Walker
1,22
,
Diana Liverman
23,24
, Katherine Richardson
25
, Paul Crutzen
26
, Jonathan A. Foley
27
1
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
2
Stockholm Environment Institute, Kräftriket 2B, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
3
ANU Climate Change Institute, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.
4
Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University,
10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
5
Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA.
6
Department of Geography, Université Catholique
de Louvain, 3 place Pasteur, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
7
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.
8
Aquatic Ecology and
Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 9101, 6700 HB Wageningen, the Netherlands.
9
The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences, PO Box 50005, 10405 Stockholm, Sweden.
10
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PO Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany.
11
Environmental Change Institute and Tyndall Centre, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK.
12
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University,
Queensland 4811, Australia.
13
School of Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University, PO Box 872402, Tempe, Arizona 85287-2402, USA.
14
Department
of Meteorology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
15
Division of History of Science and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 76, 10044
Stockholm, Sweden.
16
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, 439 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108-6028, USA.
17
Gund
Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.
18
Stockholm International Water Institute, Drottninggatan 33, 11151 Stockholm,
Sweden.
19
The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, 900 17th Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington DC 20006, USA.
20
Department
of Biological Sciences, California State University San Marcos, 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001, USA.
21
NASA Goddard Institute for Space
Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, USA.
22
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization, Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
23
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK.
24
Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721, USA.
25
The Faculty
for Natural Sciences, Tagensvej 16, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
26
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, PO Box 30 60, 55020 Mainz, Germany.
27
Institute on the
Environment, University of Minnesota, 325 VoTech Building, 1954 Buford Avenue, St Paul, MN 55108, USA.
475
NATURE|Vol 461|24 September 2009
FEATURE
472-475 Opinion Planetary Boundaries MH AU.indd 475472-475 Opinion Planetary Boundaries MH AU.indd 475 18/9/09 11:12:4418/9/09 11:12:44
© 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
... Con mucho, la crisis medio ambiental actual es el mayor problema en la sociedad globalizada según Rockström et al. (2009) y Steffen et al. (2015, como se citaron en Bonan y Doney (2018, p. 1). De esta manera: ...
... (Bonan y Doney, 2018, p. 23) La contaminación del suelo y de las aguas subterráneas ocurre desde que comienza la actividad industrial en un territorio y los contaminantes son sustancias que son o pueden ser peligrosas tanto para el medio ambiente como también para la salud humana (Anonymous, s.f.). Al respecto, Rockström et al. (2009) indican que "desde la Revolución Industrial, ha surgido una nueva era, el Antropoceno, en la que las acciones humanas se han convertido en el principal motor del cambio medioambiental global" (p. 472). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ejercicio académico que analiza con base a un árbol de problemas y una apreciación interdisciplinaria la situación de la contaminación del río Atoyac
... Earth scientists' work has deeply influenced the field of planetary health -not least the work of those involved in determining the earth systems trends of the Great Acceleration [13] and the planetary boundaries of a safe and just operating space for humanity [14] but it is less common to see earth scientists and health scientists working side-by-side on AMR within a single project team. ...
... Thus, only by taking a system-of-systems approach to health, working simultaneously across all the societal systems and earth systems implicated in the Great Acceleration [13], will we be able to address the real underlying drivers that place pressure on those systems. For all planetary health's lauding of the conceptual framework of the Great Acceleration and planetary boundaries [13,14], truly integrated, evidence-producing projects between earth scientists, health systems scientists and social scientists remain scarce. This is in spite of strong evidence that earth systems change profoundly challenges human, animal and plant health directly e.g. through ill-health caused by heat-stress [56,57] and crop failure [58,59], and indirectly e.g. through increased incidence of biological disease caused by pathogens that proliferate more in warmer conditions [60]; or food shortages [61] that cause malnutrition and reduce the immune response. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global and planetary health challenge. Links between climate change, antibiotic use and the emergence of antibiotic resistance have been well documented, but less attention has been given to the impact(s) of earth systems on specific bacterial livestock diseases at a more granular level. Understanding the precise impacts of climate change on livestock health – and in turn the use of antibiotics to address that ill-health – is important in providing an evidence base to tackle such impacts and to develop practical, implementable and locally acceptable solutions within and beyond current antibiotic stewardship programmes. In this paper, we set out the case for better integration of earth scientists and their specific disciplinary skill set (specifically, problem-solving with incomplete/fragmentary data; the ability to work across four dimensions and at the interface between the present and deep/geological time) into planetary health research. We then discuss a methodology that makes use of risk mapping, a common methodology in earth science but less frequently used in health science, to map disease risk against changing climatic conditions at a granular level. This will enable predictions of future disease risk and risk impacts based on predicted future climate conditions, and thus provide an evidence base for planetary health activists to influence policy and develop mitigations. Our case study – of climate conditions’ impact on livestock health in Karnataka, India – clearly evidences the benefit of integrating earth scientists into planetary health research.
... This is Felix Müller's widely circulated figure that accompanies the planetary boundaries argument of Rockström and his colleagues (figure 1). 70 It makes a powerful point. The boundaries of major earth-system processes are now being crossed. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The climate crisis is anthropogenic. Literally, “made by humans.” We’re told this every time we read or watch or hear climate news. We hear it almost every time we hear a scholar speak on climate change, or when we read a book or article on the climate crisis. The “anthropogenic” party line finds few dissidents, regardless of academic discipline or political sympathy. This is the ideological project of the Popular Anthropocene – distinct from, and yet enabled by, key players in the geological and earth-system sciences. Saying the climate crisis is “human-caused” is not just a language problem, but a mode of reasoning implicated in the climate crisis itself. Both are rooted in a dark history. This legacy is the long and violent history of Civilizing Projects.
... It is increasingly recognised that biodiversity is essential for sustainable development and human well-being, as illustrated by the attention paid to biodiversity in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (Diz et al., 2018;Friedman et al., 2018;Recuero Virto, 2018;Rees et al., 2018) and the inclusion of Biodiversity as one of nine planetary boundaries for sustainable development (Rockström et al., 2009;Steffen et al., 2015). In this current study, the alpha and beta diversity calculated are based on known indified taxa in addition to notable record of decapod diversity in several location across Indonesia seas. ...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods are increasingly viewed as alternate or complementary approaches to conventional capture-based surveys for marine conservation and fisheries management purposes, especially at large spatial scales in mega-biodiversity regions such as Indonesia. Decapod crustacean distribution and diversity across Indonesia are still poorly known, even for economically important fisheries commodities. This study assessed coral reef associated decapod diversity and distribution by sampling 40 sites in three regions (West, Central, East), representing 17 provinces and 10 Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) across Indonesia, with a special focus on the blue swimming crab Portunus pelagicus. DNA sequencing (Illumina iSeq100) data were analysed in mBRAVE (Multiplex Barcode Research And Visualization Environment) yielded 406 OTUs belonging to 32 families, with 47 genera and 51 species identified. The number of families identified was highest in the Central region (25), while the most genera (31) and species (36) were identified in the West region. Alpha diversity did not differ significantly between regions or provinces, while Beta diversity differed significantly between provinces but not between regions. Our results also showed 31 species are possibility native based on the distribution meanwhile 12 species do not appear to have been recorded based of SeaLifeBase or WorMS. While providing a reference for further exploration of Indonesian coastal and small island decapod biodiversity, the high proportion of unidentified taxa calls for concerted efforts to develop and maintain reference specimen and sequence repositories and expand species conservation status assessments. The economically important decapod crustaceans identified in this study included three crabs (Charybdis anisodon, Charybdis japonica, Portunus pelagicus), a freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium nipponense), a lobster (Panulirus stimpsoni) and two penaeid shrimps (Mierspenaeopsis hardwickii and Trachysalambria aspera). For most decapod taxa, observed patterns indicate management under existing provincial and/or FMA level management structures is appropriate. Furthermore, the data can inform science-based fisheries management strategies, in particular for P. pelagicus.
... Despite the benefits of using pesticides in agriculture, these compounds are potential contaminants of surface freshwater (Caldas, 2019;Pirsaheb et al., 2017;Souza et al., 2020). Rockström et al. (2009) described chemical water pollution as one of the axes of the planetary boundary that is not yet quantified, and its damage to aquatic organisms and humans is still not totally understood. Environmentally sound management and a significant reduction in the release of chemical substances into water by 2020, such as pesticides, were also two of the goals of the 12th United Nations Sustainable Development Targets (UN, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to critically review studies published up to November 2021 that investigated the presence of pesticides in surface freshwater to answer three questions: (1) in which countries were the studies conducted? (2) which pesticides are most evaluated and detected? and (3) which pesticides have the highest concentrations? Using the Prisma protocol, 146 articles published from 1976 to November 2021 were included in this analysis: 127 studies used grab sampling, 10 used passive sampling, and 9 used both sampling techniques. In the 45-year historical series, the USA, China, and Spain were the countries that conducted the highest number of studies. Atrazine was the most evaluated pesticide (56% of the studies), detected in 43% of the studies using grab sampling, and the most detected in passive sampling studies (68%). The compounds with the highest maximum and mean concentrations in the grab sampling were molinate (211.38 µg/L) and bentazone (53 µg/L), respectively, and in passive sampling, they were oxyfluorfen (16.8 µg/L) and atrazine (4.8 μg/L), respectively. The levels found for atrazine, p,p′-DDD, and heptachlor in Brazil were higher than the regulatory levels for superficial water in the country. The concentrations exceeded the toxicological endpoint for at least 11 pesticides, including atrazine (Daphnia LC50 and fish NOAEC), cypermethrin (algae EC50, Daphnia and fish LC50; fish NOAEC), and chlorpyrifos (Daphnia and fish LC50; fish NOAEC). These results can be used for planning pesticide monitoring programs in surface freshwater, at regional and global levels, and for establishing or updating water quality regulations.
... However, roughly half of all reported extinctions have happened on continents in the last 20 years as a result of land-use change, species introductions, and, increasingly, climate change, showing that biodiversity is now threatened globally. The average global extinction rate is anticipated to increase by a factor of ten throughout this century, to 100010 000 E/MSY [11]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Though there is a wealth of theoretical evidence supporting the economic and social drivers of biodiversity loss, empirical evidence for the majority of these relationships is limited, if not non-existent. The loss of living diversity is exacerbated by habitat loss, foreign species introduction, biodiversity resource over-harvesting, and species uniformity in agriculture. All of these variables have one thing in common: they are all driven by humans. In this area, more research is required. Existing biodiversity-conservation methods are also debated and questioned for their ability to successfully reverse the loss of biodiversity-related cultural values, biological species, and ecosystems caused by these key causes of biodiversity loss. This comprehensive study examines the economic and societal aspects that contribute to Ethiopia's biodiversity loss, as well as potential opportunities. It also identifies potential roadblocks and future directions that should be pursued. To scale up biodiversity conservation loss, better promotion of practical conservation approaches, community-based management techniques, and sector-based conservation and integration should be adopted throughout the entire resource region. Better promotion of practical conservation measures, community-based management techniques, and sector-based conservation and integration should be applied throughout the resource region to scale up biodiversity conservation loss. The widely held belief is that institutional variety and multi-level governance are essential to institutionalize biodiversity protection because of the characteristics and functions of biodiversity as well as the characteristics of the participants. Institutional diversity, on the other hand, isn't a panacea for successful biodiversity conservation, and it's much less beneficial for determining where to start. The Ethiopian case demonstrates what happens when according to theory the government "steps aside" and the "market works its wonders". The goal is to shape institutional diversity's context-specific patterns by establishing actionable beginning points after recognizing its value. Guidance, mediation, and facilitation are all required.
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents MetaMAP: a new graphical tool and framework for designing well-integrated sustainability initiatives, and managing synergies and trade-offs regarding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are highly interconnected, but many institutional structures and thinking paradigms lead us to look at them in isolation. This stifles innovation and social transformation. Most tools and frameworks, while valuable, focus on analysis, not design, and are limited to a particular discipline, sector, SDG, or geographic scale. Without holistic frameworks and collaborative tools, many sustainability practitioners may be playing chess without a board. To support a more integrated approach to achieve the SDGs, MetaMAP resembles architectural design tools which help users to synthesise knowledge, reframe complex situations, and identify stakeholders, leverage points, synergies, and trade-offs. MetaMAP applies a new meta-framework to organise concept maps developed collaboratively by interdisciplinary teams following a guided process. This framework integrates components of the natural environment, built environment, and society across multiple spatial and temporal scales. It incorporates concepts from social-ecological systems, planetary boundaries, design thinking, integral theory, ecosystem services, and ecological footprint, among others. MetaMAP was designed with input from over 170 people from diverse disciplines in five workshops, numerous case studies, and critique. This article demonstrates MetaMAP through its application to a case study in which a multidisciplinary team analysed the impacts of an Ecovillage across scales and designed synergetic initiatives. We then critique MetaMAP from four disciplinary perspectives. We envision that MetaMAP will support the design of sustainability initiatives which are more efficient, more broadly supported, and contribute to multiple SDGs simultaneously. By taking a systems view and applying design thinking, MetaMAP helps users to understand interlinkages, maximise synergies, and minimise trade-offs when designing specific SDG initiatives.
Chapter
TheRisks management field of peace studiesPeace studies is seeing an increased interest in environmental peaceEnvironmental peace-making or peace ecologyPeace ecology. This chapter explores the security threats and conflicts induced by climate changeClimate change on humanity while advocating available tools aimed to attenuating environmental instabilityEnvironmental instability in several regions of the globe and maintaining the sustainabilitySustainabilityof biodiversityBiodiversity. The pursuit of peace in climate change context requires a pluridisciplinary approach that encompasses a better understanding of environmental conflictsEnvironmental conflict, environmental justiceEnvironmental justice, peace ecologyPeace ecology, ecoeducationEcoeducation, ecoethicsEcoethics, and developing climate-sensitive adaptationClimate-sensitive adaptationand conflict-sensitive mechanismsConflict-sensitive mechanisms to alleviate the effects of conflicts induced by climate change. The chapter argues that a synergic cooperation between civil societyCivil society, business, corporations and political actors has the potential to lead a global and concerted implementation of healthy ecological policies. Finally, the interplay of various dimensions of human agencyHuman agency to protect the ecosystemEcosystems are held as the pathways to mitigating the global environmental crisis we are confronted with in our time, and to achieving ecological sustainabilityEcological sustainability.
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Species are shifting their elevational ranges in response to climate change. Elevational shifts have been documented frequently in many species of flora and fauna but very few times in amphibians and reptiles. Here, I compare 74 transects in the western part of the Central System mountain range (Salamanca province, Spain) sampled in two periods: 2000–2002 and 2016–2018. I compared between sampling periods the species richness and composition by transect using the Bray–Curtis and Jaccard indices, the species elevational ranges with the non-parametric Wilcoxon test for paired data, and the species’ climatic niches with ecospat, an R package for spatial analyses and modelling of species’ niches and distributions. I also analysed the changes over time in climate and land use in the study area. The maximum annual temperature increased over time in five meteorological stations inside and close to the study area. The transects did not undergo land use changes between periods. Some transects differed in the species composition, but in general, the species richness was similar. Only two species (one amphibian, Salamandra salamandra; one reptile, Psammodromus algirus) increased their mean elevation (+ 75 and + 163 m, respectively). Several species have slightly shifted their climatic realised niche between sampling periods. Atlantic species are losing suitable habitats, and Mediterranean species are gaining suitable habitats; both types of species are moving towards higher elevations. Climate change might be promoting extinction processes in Atlantic species.
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Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3 deg-C for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6 deg-C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 450 +/- 100 ppm, a level that will be exceeded within decades, barring prompt policy changes. If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. The largest uncertainty in the target arises from possible changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350 ppm CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.
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The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. This article presents the origin of the resilience perspective and provides an overview of its development to date. With roots in one branch of ecology and the discovery of multiple basins of attraction in ecosystems in the 1960–1970s, it inspired social and environmental scientists to challenge the dominant stable equilibrium view. The resilience approach emphasizes non-linear dynamics, thresholds, uncertainty and surprise, how periods of gradual change interplay with periods of rapid change and how such dynamics interact across temporal and spatial scales. The history was dominated by empirical observations of ecosystem dynamics interpreted in mathematical models, developing into the adaptive management approach for responding to ecosystem change. Serious attempts to integrate the social dimension is currently taking place in resilience work reflected in the large numbers of sciences involved in explorative studies and new discoveries of linked social–ecological systems. Recent advances include understanding of social processes like, social learning and social memory, mental models and knowledge–system integration, visioning and scenario building, leadership, agents and actor groups, social networks, institutional and organizational inertia and change, adaptive capacity, transformability and systems of adaptive governance that allow for management of essential ecosystem services.
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Presents a conceptual framework that can help focus treatment of the contrasts between global and local behavior on the one hand and between continuous and discontinuous behavior on the other. Since that framework describes different perceptions of regulation and stability behavior, it provides the necessary background for a 2nd topic, which concerns the particular causative relations and processes within ecosystems, the influence of external variation on them and their dynamic behavior in time and space. A 3rd topic synthesizes present understanding of the structure and behavior of ecosystems in a way that has considerable generality and organizational power. A 4th connects that understanding to global phenomena on the one hand and local perception and action on the other. -from Author