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Earth is in danger!


The Planetary Boundaries

Planetary Boundaries 2023.jpg

The planetary boundaries 2023: six out of nine areas are already at a critical stage. The extreme consequences of this can hardly be predicted. Richardson et. al. 2023:

The Earth is in danger because we as humanity have exceeded or are about to exceed the planetary carrying limits. The planetary boundaries are the limits within which the Earth is able to absorb our human activities and recover. These limits were identified by an international team of scientists and cover nine critical areas, including climate change, biodiversity loss, land use, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, ocean acidification, freshwater use, ozone layer depletion and chemical pollution.


If we exceed these limits, we risk irreversible changes in the global ecosystem that threaten our long-term viability. For example, we have caused climate change by emitting greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, leading to increased temperatures, floods, droughts and extreme weather events. Biodiversity loss through habitat loss, invasive species and exploitation of our natural resources is causing species to die out and ecosystems to collapse. Land use through deforestation, agriculture and infrastructure development destroys nature and wildlife habitat, increasing the risk of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19.


To protect the Earth, we need to be aware of how our actions affect planetary stress limits and how we can avoid or reduce them. This requires a transformation of our economy, consumption and lifestyles towards a more sustainable future that balances the needs of people and the environment.

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Evolution of planetary boundaries from 2009 to 2023. Azote for Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University. Based on Richardson et al. 2023, Steffen et al. 2015, and Rockström et al. 2009:

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