Click on image to downlload illustration. Credit: F. Pharand-Deschênes/Globaïa

Planetary boundaries research

The planetary boundaries concept presents a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come

The Planetary Boundaries framework has now been updated, published in Science on 16 January 2015. Read more here and find the figures and data from the 2015 article here.

Crossing these boundaries could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes. Respecting the boundaries reduces the risks to human society of crossing these thresholds.

The framework was first introduced in 2009, when a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists identified and quantified the first set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.

In this TED talk from 2010 Johan Rockström introduces the Planetary Boundaries framework

Since the planetary boundaries were first presented, researchers from around the world have been working to advance the concept.
Read more about ongoing research here

Discussions of the Planetary Boundaries concept:

A fundamental misrepresentation of the Planetary Boundaries framework (response to Montoya et.al 2017)

Will Steffen, Johan Rockström and Katherine Richardson respond to critique in the New York Times' Dot Earth blog (scroll to bottom of page)(2015 paper)

Johan Rockström: addressing some key misconceptions (2009 paper)

Planetary Boundaries concept is valuable for policy (2009 paper)

Contacts
For direct inquiries about the planetary boundaries concept and its research, please contact:

Sarah Cornell
Planetary boundaries coordinator
sarah.cornell@stockholmresilience.su.se

Phone +46 (0) 73 707 8580



Related content

  • Publications
    Here you can find the original articles behind the research along with related publications
  • Background
    How did the research on the planetary boundaries come about?
  • About the research
    Since the planetary boundaries were first presented in 2009, researchers from around the world have sought to advance the concept

Related info

Read more

Read more about the 2015 Planetary Boundaries article

Read the full 2009 scientific article here in Ecology and Society

Download supplementary information from the 2009 publicationPDF (pdf, 425.1 kB)

Read the 2009 Nature feature article and special Planetary Boundaries section

Download Planetary Boundaries for BusinessPDF (pdf, 937.4 kB)

Download 2015 Planetary Boundaries illustration * (credit: F. Pharand-Deschênes /Globaïa)

Download 2009 Planetary Boundaries illustration JPG* (credit: Azote Images/Stockholm Resilience Centre)

Download 2009 Planetary Boundaries illustration EPS* (credit: Azote Images/Stockholm Resilience Centre)

Download Swedish version of 2015 Planetary Boundaries illustration (credit: Azote Images/Stockholm Resilience Centre)

*The 2009 and 2015 illustrations are free to use in publications, scientific or otherwise, describing the planetary boundaries concept. Correct credit is required.

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Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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