News & events
Meet our team
Journal / article
Queiroz, C., Norström, A., Downing, A., Harmáčková, Z., De Coning, C., Adams, V., Bakarr, M., Baedeker, T., Chitate, A., Gaffney, O., Gordon, L., Hainzelin, É., Howlett, D., Krampe, F., Loboguerrero, A., Nel, D., Okollet, C., Rebermark, M., Rockström, J., Smith, M., Wabbes-Candotti, S., Matthews, N.. 2021. Investment in resilient food systems in the most vulnerable and fragile regions is critical. Nature Food. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00345-2
Reversing the alarming trend of rising food insecurity requires transformations towards just, sustainable and healthy food systems with an explicit focus on the most vulnerable and fragile regions. Global food insecurity fell for decades, but it is steadily rising again 1 . A primary driver of this alarming trend is the double burden of climate shocks and violent conflict in areas that are already food insecure. The recent ...
Warszawski, L., Kriegler, E., Lenton, T.M., Gaffney, O., Jacob, D. et.al. 2021. All options, not silver bullets, needed to limit global warming to 1.5 °C: a scenario appraisal. Environ. Res. Lett. 16 064037
Climate science provides strong evidence of the necessity of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The IPCC 1.5 °C special report (SR1.5) presents 414 emissions scenarios modelled for the report, of which around 50 are classified as '1.5 °C scenarios', with no or low temperature overshoot. These emission scenarios differ in their reliance on individual mitigation levers, including reducti...
Folke, C., Polasky, S., Rockström, J. et al. Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere. Ambio 50, 834–869 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-021-01544-8
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an interconnected and tightly coupled globalized world in rapid change. This article sets the scientific stage for understanding and responding to such change for global sustainability and resilient societies. We provide a systemic overview of the current situation where people and nature are dynamically intertwined and embedded in the biosphere, placing shocks and extreme events as part of t...
Warszawski, L., Kriegler, E., Lenton, T.M., Gaffney, O., Jacob, D., Klingenfeld, D., Koide, R., Costa, M.M. et.al. 2021. All options, not silver bullets, needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C: a scenario appraisal. Environmental Research Letters [DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/abfeec]
Policy brief or report
A safe operating space for New Zealand/Aotearoa: Translating the planetary boundaries framework. 2020. Report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. Commissioned by New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.
The purpose of the report is to translate the planetary boundaries framework for New Zealand to inform government approaches to environmental stewardship, well-being and economic development. • The planetary boundaries framework provides an international and long-term context for national policy setting. It can be used as a benchmark for measuring progress towards environmental goals. • The framework provides a systems view ...
Luers, A., Garard, J., Clair, A.L.S., Gaffney, O., Hassenboehler, T., Langlois, L., Mougeot, M. and Luccioni, S., 2020. Leveraging Digital Disruptions for a Climate-Safe and Equitable World: The Dˆ2S Agenda:[Commentary]. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 39(2), pp.18-31.
A new report, Digital Disruptions for Sustainability Agenda (the DA2S Agenda), developed by Future Earth's Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative is discussed in this paper. The DA2S Agenda was developed over the course of a year, engaging over 250 experts from around the world through workshops, online consultations, and desktop research. This article provides an overview of the analysis and findings outlined in the DA2...
Journal / article
Bhowmik, A.K., McCaffrey, M.S., Ruskey, A.M., Frischmann, C. and Gaffney, O., 2020. Powers of 10: seeking ‘sweet spots’ for rapid climate and sustainability actions between individual and global scales. Environmental Research Letters, 15(9), p.094011.
Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and related sustainability initiatives will require halving of global greenhouse gas emissions each decade from now on through to 2050, when net zero emissions should be achieved. To reach such significant reductions requires a rapid and strategic scaling of existing and emerging technologies and practices, coupled with economic and social transformations and novel governance solution...
Journal / article
Lenton, T.M., Rockström, J., Gaffney, O., Rahmstorf, S. et.al. 2019. Climate tipping points - too risky to bet against. Nature Comment, Vol. 575
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...
Elmqvist, T., Andersson, E. Frantzeskaki, N. et.al. 2019. Sustainability and resilience for transformation in the urban century, Nature Sustainability volume 2, pages 267–273 (2019)
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...
Journal / article
Gaffney, O., W. Steffen. 2017 The Anthropocene equation. The Anthropocene Review 4(1): 53-61.
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 ...
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