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Sven is young
Sven is young
The Earth is currently under so much pressure that the planet has ended up “outside of humanity’s safe space.” Researchers warn against this in a new article in the scientific journal Advancement of science. This threatens to jeopardize the stability that life on Earth has known for 10,000 years – since the last ice age.
Scientists are relying on research conducted in 2009 into the so-called “planetary frontier.” Nine boundaries have been identified: global warming, biodiversity loss, nitrogen/phosphorus cycle, ozone hole, ocean acidification, water scarcity, land use, chemical pollution, and atmospheric particulates.
As long as humans remain within those planetary boundaries, Earth can solve the burden itself and the system is relatively stable. The idea is that once planetary boundaries are crossed, the stability in which humans have been able to develop themselves for thousands of years is at risk.
Planet health check
Lead author Katherine Richardson compares land to a body and crossing borders to developing high blood pressure: “You’re not immediately sure you’re having a heart attack, but the risk increases.”
Researchers talk about “the first health check for the entire planet.” The study shows that of the nine limits, only three were exceeded. The climate is disturbed, the loss of biodiversity is much greater than acceptable, and there is a lot of chemical pollution and deforestation.
Only ocean acidification is still within planetary limits, as are air pollution and ozone depletion. The researchers concluded that the maximum climate change had already been crossed in the late 1980s. But air pollution and ocean acidification are about to reach their limits.
The green circle is the part that falls within the boundaries of the planets, everything that is outside the boundaries exceeds the boundaries:
“These limits determine the fate of the planet,” says one of the authors, Johan Rockström, director of the Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam (PIK). “We’re in really bad shape.” Rockstrom and his team see particular benefit in restoring forests to their early 20th century level. These can then store carbon dioxide which now ends up in the air and is therefore an important cause of global warming.
Researchers are also calling for greater attention to declining biodiversity – the diversity of life forms such as plants and animals – as well as greater attention to the climate crisis. “Biodiversity is fundamental to maintaining the carbon and water cycle.”
An alarming study
Professor of Global Environmental Change Detlef van Vuuren from Utrecht University and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency reports on a worrying study. “We are in a situation where we are dealing with multiple environmental crises at the same time. Climate is one of them, and we have seen in various places this summer the consequences that this can have in the form of extreme weather events. We are currently putting great pressure on the planet. Our production and consumption are putting great pressure on the planet.”
According to Van Vuuren, the study follows the same tradition as the Club of Rome, which tried to point out the limits of economic growth in an influential report in the 1970s. Growth limits. “At the time, they were the first to point out that things would get worse if you put too much pressure on our planet’s ability to process pollution and waste. There was also a reaction to that, but not enough. Neto was the global symbol of Rome. The burden increased.” “Environmental.”
Sick, but not incurable
After this latest study, he once again calls for the search for solutions. “We now know that we are facing a global environmental crisis. We must now see whether we can identify paths that will allow us to remain within planetary boundaries again.”
In this context, he points to the amount of knowledge that exists about climate: “We know that we need a change in society for this: less energy use, a different energy system, changes in transport, industry and agriculture. It will take time, but under optimistic scenarios This could be achieved globally by 2050.
The world is not necessarily negative. “It can be reversed. I’ve said it before: the patient is sick, but it’s not curable. We know from all kinds of exploration that with a combination of technology and behavior change we can dramatically reduce the extent of the problem. Less consumption and a different diet can have many positive outcomes.” Of the positive effects.”
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