Planetary boundaries: guiding human development on a changing planet

Date

2015-02-13

Authors

Steffen, Will
Richardson, K.
Rockstrom, J.
Cornell, S. E.
Fetzer, I.
Bennett, E. M.
Biggs, Reinette
Carpenter, S. R.
de Vries, W.
de Wit, C. A.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Abstract

The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth system. Here, we revise and update the planetary boundary framework, with a focus on the underpinning biophysical science, based on targeted input from expert research communities and on more general scientific advances over the past 5 years. Several of the boundaries now have a two-tier approach, reflecting the importance of cross-scale interactions and the regional-level heterogeneity of the processes that underpin the boundaries. Two core boundaries—climate change and biosphere integrity—have been identified, each of which has the potential on its own to drive the Earth system into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed.

Description

Keywords

atmosphere, fresh water, humans, biological evolution, climate change, earth (planet), ozone depletion, biophysics, biosphere, boundary layer, earth science, heterogeneity, stabilization, acidification, astronomy, ozone layer, priority journal, evolution

Citation

Source

Science

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

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DOI

10.1126/science.1259855

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