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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: Guiding human development on a changing planet
- W. Steffen, K. Richardson, +15 authors S. Sörlin
- Medicine, Environmental Science
- 13 February 2015
An updated and extended analysis of the planetary boundary (PB) framework and identifies levels of anthropogenic perturbations below which the risk of destabilization of the Earth system (ES) is likely to remain low—a “safe operating space” for global societal development. Expand
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 we… Expand
The causes of land-use and land-cover change: moving beyond the myths
Common understanding of the causes of land-use and land-cover change is dominated by simplifications which, in turn, underlie many environment-development policies. This article tracks some of the… Expand
The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature
This work uses atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration as a single, simple indicator to track the progression of the Anthropocene, the current epoch in which humans and the authors' societies have become a global geophysical force. Expand
The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration
The ‘Great Acceleration’ graphs, originally published in 2004 to show socio-economic and Earth System trends from 1750 to 2000, have now been updated to 2010. In the graphs of socio-economic trends,… Expand
The global carbon cycle: a test of our knowledge of earth as a system.
- P. Falkowski, R. Scholes, +14 authors W. Steffen
- Environmental Science, Medicine
- 13 October 2000
It is concluded that although natural processes can potentially slow the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2, there is no natural "savior" waiting to assimilate all the anthropogenically produced CO2 in the coming century. Expand
The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives
- W. Steffen, J. Grinevald, P. Crutzen, J. McNeill
- Medicine, Biology
- Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A…
- 13 March 2011
The case for formally recognizing the Anthropocene as a new epoch in Earth history is put forward, arguing that the advent of the Industrial Revolution around 1800 provides a logical start date for the new epoch. Expand
Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet
Planetary stability must be integrated with United Nations targets to fight poverty and secure human well-being, argue David Griggs and colleagues.
The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship
The Anthropocene is a reminder that the Holocene, during which complex human societies have developed, has been a stable, accommodating environment and is the only state of the Earth System that the authors know for sure can support contemporary society. Expand