For almost two decades Gaffney has been involved in Earth system science research and communications. His work focuses on synthesising and assimilating knowledge on the state of the planet. He is interested the the Anthropocene, Earth system and social tipping points, governance, equality, technology and the changing flow of information in the world.
Gaffney is a qualified journalist, filmmaker and writer and trained as an astronautic and aeronautic engineer.
His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the BBC and the world’s leading academic journals Science and Nature. His work with Felix Pharand Deschenes has been shown at the UN Rio+20 Summit and the World Economic Forum, Davos.
In addition to his position at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Gaffney has a position as an analyst and policy advisor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Berlin. He is a fellow at Future Earth and the Edmund Hillary Foundation, New Zealand. He is a member of faculty at Singularity University. He is former director of communications at Future Earth and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.
Exponential Roadmap: https://exponentialroadmap.org/
Nature Sustainability: Sustainability and resilience for transformation in the urban century
New Scientist: Quit carbon and quick
WWF, Living Planet Report: https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/all_publications/living_planet_report_2018/
Sleeping Financial Giants: https://sleepinggiants.earth/publication/read-the-background-report/
Anthropocene Review: The Anthropocene equation
Research news | 2020-02-14
The new "Our Future On Earth" report provides risks analysis based on survey of 222 global sustainability experts, including centre researchers
Research news | 2019-11-27
Nine climate tipping points now are now “active” which means the situation is urgent and we need an emergency response, warn scientists
Research news | 2019-09-19
New report provides 36 solutions, ranging from solar and wind to electric bikes, commercial shipping and reduced red meat consumption, with the potential to scale rapidly
Research news | 2019-04-09
Researchers present a new framework to resolve this question
2019 - Journal / article
Politicians, economists and even some natural scientists have tended to assume that tipping points1 in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are of low probability and little understood. Yet evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing th...
2019 - Report
We have entered the urban century and addressing a broad suite of sustainability challenges in urban areas is increasingly key for our chances to transform the entire planet towards sustainability. For example, cities are responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, 90% of urban areas are situated on coastlines, making the majority of the world’s population increasingly vulnerable to climate ch...
2017 - Journal / article
The dominant external forces influencing the rate of change of the Earth System have been astronomical and geophysical during the planet’s 4.5-billion-year existence. In the last six decades, anthropogenic forcings have driven exceptionally rapid rates of change in the Earth System. This new regime can be represented by an ‘Anthropocene equation’, where other forcings tend to zero, and the rate of change under human influence ...
2017 - Journal / article
On 25 September, 2015, world leaders met at the United Nations in New York, where they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals and 169 targets set out an agenda for sustainable development for all nations that embraces economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. Now, the agenda moves from agreeing the goals to implementing and ultimately achieving them. Across the goals, 42 targets focus ...