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 define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely. Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger…

A safe operating space for humanity

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

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