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Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet

TitlePlanetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSteffen W., Richardson K., Rockstrom J., Cornell S.E, Fetzer I., Bennett E.M, Biggs R., Carpenter S.R, de Vries W., de Wit C.A, Folke C., Gerten D., Heinke J., Mace G.M, Persson L.M, Ramanathan V, Reyers B., Sorlin S.
Date Published2015/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0036-8075
Accession NumberWOS:000349221300039
Keywordsbiodiversity loss; climate; critical transitions; early-warning signals; environmental flow requirements; functional diversity; marine-environment; nutrient limitation; safe operating; space; water

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.

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