Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Sep 30, 2015 | Science Magazine

Planetary Boundaries (PBs) are scientifically-based levels of human perturbation of the Earth System (ES) beyond which ES functioning may be substantially altered. There is an urgent need for a new paradigm that integrates the continued development of human societies and the maintenance of the ES in a resilient and accommodating state. In this article from Science Magazine, a group of scientists update the PBs framework, from the perspective of biophysical science. Two core boundaries - climate change and biosphere integrity - are highlighted, each of which has the potential on its own to drive the Earth system into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed.



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