The concept of Planetary Boundaries posits that Earth system processes critical for maintaining the stable state of the Holocene, such as biosphere integrity, land-use change and climate change may be being influenced by human activity.
The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity within the boundaries of nine productive ecological capacities of the planet.
- Biosphere Integrity
- Genetic Diversity
- Climate Change
- Novel Entities
- Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
- Atmospheric Aerosol Loading
- Ocean Acidification
- Biochemical Flows
- Land-system Change
- Freshwater Usage
Although not all these processes have definable single thresholds, crossing the boundaries increases the risk of large-scale, potentially irreversible, environmental changes .
- Rockström et al. 2009; Steffen et al. 2015