Planetary Boundaries

From Open Risk Manual

Definition

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 [1].

References

  1. Rockström et al. 2009; Steffen et al. 2015