Aerial View of Curved River

frameworks

There are so many ways in which we can improve our way of living to positively impact the world around us, or at least limit the harmful affects our existence can effect. 

Planetary Boundaries

 

There Are 9 Planetary Boundaries

Earth and Space

Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

The stratospheric ozone layer in the atmosphere filters out ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. If this layer decreases, increasing amounts of UV radiation will reach ground level.
 
This can cause a higher incidence of skin cancer in humans as well as damage to terrestrial and marine biological systems.

Image by Mika Baumeister

Climate Change

Recent evidence suggests that the Earth, now passing 390 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere, has already transgressed the planetary boundary and is approaching several Earth system thresholds. 
 
We have reached a point at which the loss of summer polar sea-ice is almost certainly irreversible.

Image by Adele Payman

Land System Change

Land is converted to human use all over the planet. Forests, grasslands, wetlands and other vegetation types have primarily been converted to agricultural land.
 
This land-use change is one driving force behind the serious reductions in biodiversity, and it has impacts on water flows and on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus and other important elements.

Image by Louis Maniquet

Loss of Biosphere Integrity Biodiversity Loss & Extinctions

The main drivers of change are the demand for food, water, and natural resources, causing severe biodiversity loss and leading to changes in ecosystem services.

Image by Anastasia Taioglou

Ocean Acidification

Around a quarter of the CO2 that humanity emits into the atmosphere is ultimately dissolved in the oceans. Here it forms carbonic acid, altering ocean chemistry and decreasing the pH of the surface water. This increased acidity reduces the amount of available carbonate ions, an essential 'building block' used by many marine species for shell and skeleton formation.

Image by Shifaaz shamoon

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Flows to the Biosphere and Oceans

The freshwater cycle is strongly affected by climate change and its boundary is closely linked to the climate boundary, yet human pressure is now the dominant driving force determining the functioning and distribution of global freshwater systems.
The biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus have been radically changed by humans as a result of many industrial and agricultural processes. 
 
Nitrogen and phosphorus are both essential elements for plant growth, so fertiliser production and application is the main concern. Human activities now convert more atmospheric nitrogen into reactive forms than all of the Earth's terrestrial processes combined.

Image by Chris LeBoutillier

Chemical Pollution and the Release of Novel Entities

Emissions of toxic and long-lived substances such as synthetic organic pollutants, heavy metal compounds and radioactive materials represent some of the key human-driven changes to the planetary environment.
 
These compounds can have potentially irreversible effects on living organisms and on the physical environment (by affecting atmospheric processes and climate)

Image by Mario Álvarez

Freshwater Consumption and the Global Hydrological Cycle

The freshwater cycle is strongly affected by climate change and its boundary is closely linked to the climate boundary, yet human pressure is now the dominant driving force determining the functioning and distribution of global freshwater systems.
 
The consequences of human modification of water bodies include both global-scale river flow changes and shifts in vapour flows arising from land use change.

Image by Joey Huang

Atmospheric Aerosol Loading

An atmospheric aerosol planetary boundary was proposed primarily because of the influence of aerosols on Earth's climate system.
 
Through their interaction with water vapour, aerosols play a critically important role in the hydrological cycle affecting cloud formation and global-scale and regional patterns of atmospheric circulation, such as the monsoon systems in tropical regions.



Johan Rockstrom

 



Stockholm Resilience Centre
Resilience Centre (SRC) is an international research centre on resilience and sustainability science

 

 

UNited nations Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty

End poverty, in all its forms, everywhere.

Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Affordable & Clean Energy

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Responsible Consumption & Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Decent Work & Economic Growth

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Partnerships for the Goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

Good Health & Wellbeing

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Clean Water & Sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Clean Water & Sanitation

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Sustainable Cities & Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

 

Doughnut Economics

A visual framework for living sustainably. First published in 2012 in an Oxfam report by Kate Raworth.

Doughnut Economics combines the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries.