News & events
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Journal / article
Heck, V., Donges, J. F., and Lucht, W. 2016. Collateral transgression of planetary boundaries due to climate engineering by terrestrial carbon dioxide removal, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., doi:10.5194/esd-2016-22, in review, 2016.
The planetary boundaries framework as proposed by Rockström et al. (2009) provides guidelines for defining thresholds in environmental variables. Their transgression is likely to result in a shift in Earth system functioning away from the relatively stable Holocene state. As the climate change boundary is already transgressed, several climate engineering methods are discussed, aiming at a reduction of atmospheric carbon concen...
van Vuuren, D. P., P. L. Lucas, T. Häyhä, S. E. Cornell, M. Stafford-Smith. 2016. Horses for courses: analytical tools to explore planetary boundaries. Earth System Dynamics, 7: 267–279.
There is a need for more integrated research on sustainable development and global environmental change. In this paper, we focus on the planetary boundaries framework to provide a systematic categorization of key research questions in relation to avoiding severe global environmental degradation. The four categories of key questions are those that relate to (1) the underlying processes and selection of key indicators for plane...
Journal / article
Gerten, D., J. Rockström, J. Heinke, W. Steffen, K. Richardson, S. Cornell. 2015. Response to comment on ‘planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet’. Science 348(6240): 1217–d.
Steffen, W., K. Richardson, J. Rockström, S.E. Cornell, I. Fetzer, E.M. Bennett, R. Biggs, S.R. Carpenter, W. De Vries, C.A. De Wit, C. Folke, D. Gerten, J. Heinke, G.M. Mace, L.M. Persson, V. Ramanathan, B. Reyers, S. Sörlin. 2015. Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science 347: 736, 1259855
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 boundar...
Hajer, M., M. Nilsson, K. Raworth, P. Bakker, F. Berkhout, Y. de Boer, J. Rockström, K. Ludwig, M. Kok. 2015. Beyond cockpit-ism: Four insights to enhance the transformative potential of the sustainable development goals. Sustainability 7: 1651–1660.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have the potential to become a powerful political vision that can support the urgently needed global transition to a shared and lasting prosperity. In December 2014, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General published his report on the SDGs. However, the final goals and targets that will be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 risk falling short of expectations because...
Journal / article
Griggs, D., M. Stafford Smith, J. Rockström, M. C. Öhman, O. Gaffney, G. Glaser, N. Kanie, I. Noble, W. Steffen, and P. Shyamsundar. 2014. An integrated framework for sustainable development goals. Ecology and Society 19(4): 49.
The United Nations (UN) Rio+20 summit committed nations to develop a set of universal sustainable development goals (SDGs) to build on the millennium development goals (MDGs) set to expire in 2015. Research now indicates that humanity’s impact on Earth’s life support system is so great that further global environmental change risks undermining long-term prosperity and poverty eradication goals. Socioeconomic development and...
Mace G.M., B. Reyers, R. Alkemade, R. Biggs, F.S. Chapin, S.E. Cornell, S. Díaz, S. Jennings, P. Leadley, P.J. Mumby, A. Purvis, R.J. Scholes, A.W.R. Seddon, M. Solan, W. Steffen, G. Woodward 2014. Approaches to defining a planetary boundary for biodiversity. Global Environmental Change, 28, 289-297
The idea that there is an identifiable set of boundaries, beyond which anthropogenic change will put the Earth system outside a safe operating space for humanity, is attracting interest in the scientific community and gaining support in the environmental policy world. Rockstrom et al. (2009) identify nine such boundaries and highlight biodiversity loss as being the single boundary where current rates of extinction put the Eart...
Dearing, J.A., R. Wang, K. Zhang, J.G. Dyke, H. Haberl, M.S. Hossain, P.G. Langdon, T.M. Lenton, K. Raworth, S. Brown, J. Carstensen, M.J. Cole, S.E. Cornell, T.P. Dawson, C.P. Doncaster, F. Eigenbrod, M. Flörke, E. Jeffers, A.W. Mackay, B. Nykvist, G.M. Poppy 2014. Safe and just operating spaces for regional social-ecological systems. Global Environmental Change, 28, 227-238
Humanity faces a major global challenge in achieving wellbeing for all, while simultaneously ensuring that the biophysical processes and ecosystem services that underpin wellbeing are exploited within scientifically informed boundaries of sustainability. We propose a framework for defining the safe and just operating space for humanity that integrates social wellbeing into the original planetary boundaries concept (Rockström...
Gerst, M.D.; Raskin, P.D.; Rockström, J. Contours of a Resilient Global Future. Sustainability 2014, 6, 123-135.
Humanity confronts a daunting double challenge in the 21st century: meeting widely-held aspirations for equitable human development while preserving the bio-physical integrity of Earth systems. Extant scientific attempts to quantify futures that address these sustainability challenges are often not comprehensive across environmental and social drivers of global change, or rely on quantification methods that largely exclude d...
Policy brief or report
Elmqvist T, Cornell S, Öhman MC, Daw T, Moberg F, Norström A, Persson Å, Peterson G, Rockström J, Schultz M, Hermansson-Török E. 2013. Global sustainability and Human prosperity – contribution to the Post-2015 agenda and the development of Sustainable Development Goals - TemaNord report (Nordic Council of Ministers), pp 50
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