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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 Rockstrom and colleagues.
Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity
Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which weExpand
Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system
It is explained how, in principle, early warning systems could be established to detect the proximity of some tipping points, and critically evaluate potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system under anthropogenic forcing. Expand
Processes and patterns of oceanic nutrient limitation
Microbial activity is a fundamental component of oceanic nutrient cycles. Photosynthetic microbes, collectively termed phytoplankton, are responsible for the vast majority of primary production inExpand
Anticipating Critical Transitions
How previously isolated lines of work can be connected are reviewed, it is concluded that many critical transitions (such as escape from the poverty trap) can have positive outcomes, and how the new approaches to sensing fragility can help to detect both risks and opportunities for desired change. Expand
Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene
We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperatureExpand
COPSE: a new model of biogeochemical cycling over Phanerozoic time
We present a new model of biogeochemical cycling over Phanerozoic time. This work couples a feedback-based model of atmospheric O2 and ocean nutrients (Lenton and Watson, 2000a, 2000b) with aExpand
The radiative forcing potential of different climate geoengineering options
Abstract. Climate geoengineering proposals seek to rectify the Earth's current and potential future radiative imbalance, either by reducing the absorption of incoming solar (shortwave) radiation, orExpand
Nitrogen-enhanced greenhouse warming on early Earth
Early in Earth’s history, the Sun provided less energy to the Earth than it does today. However, the Earth was not permanently glaciated, an apparent contradiction known as the faint young SunExpand
Bistability of atmospheric oxygen and the Great Oxidation
The results indicate that the existence of oxygenic photosynthesis is not a sufficient condition for either an oxygen-rich atmosphere or the presence of an ozone layer, which has implications for detecting life on other planets using atmospheric analysis and for the evolution of multicellular life. Expand