Sunday, September 24, 2023

How much time is left on Earth? Humanity has already exceeded 6 of the 9 planetary limits

The first full “scientific checkup” of the health of our planet was not good. It shows that most of Earth’s world systems are beyond the stable size from which modern civilization emerged. Humanity has already exceeded 6 of the 9 planetary limits.

Planet status update

Human activities, such as changing the nature of other land uses, changing the amount of water in rivers and land, the introduction of synthetic chemicals into the open environment and the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, influencing the interaction between life and the Earth’s climate and increasingly affecting our planet and therefore increasing the risk of causing major changes in the general condition of the Earth.

Earth’s life support systems are so damaged that the planet is out of control, scientists warn. Planetary boundaries are the boundaries of key global systems – such as climate, water and wildlife diversity – where the ability to sustain a healthy planet is at risk of collapse.

The situation is getting worse

According to the latest research, the first of the nine planetary limits is “the first scientific control of the health of the entire planet” and shows that of the three limits that remain, two more are about to be broken: air pollution and ocean acidification. . The only limit that seems to save the planet from this anthropogenic crisis is atmospheric ozone, after the measures adopted in recent decades to gradually eliminate the harmful chemical substances that led to the depletion of ozone hole.

Climate change is already causing devastating effects on our planet. Avoiding the worst-case scenario is essential if we want to guarantee a safe future not only for future generations, but also for the present. The situation is getting worse and we seem to have forgotten that these limits determine the fate of our planet. If the Earth is unable to manage these nine limits, our planet will no longer be a safe place for humanity.

“This update of the planetary boundaries framework found that six of the nine boundaries have been breached, suggesting that Earth is now well outside the safe operating space for humanity,” the authors wrote in study.

Updated planetary boundaries chartAzote for the Stockholm Resilience Center, based on the analysis of Richardson et al 2023.

The trend of increasing border violations is worrying, said Katherine Richardson of the University of Copenhagen, and leader of the task force. “Crossing the six boundaries in itself does not mean catastrophic attacks, but it is a clear warning sign. We can think of it as we do our own blood pressure. The pressure in the blood above 120/80 does not guarantee a heart attack, but it increases the risk of suffering one. That’s why we try to lower it. For our sake (and our children’s) we must to reduce the pressure on these six planetary boundaries.

We already have metrics for all the important factors, and scientists say that focusing on global climate is not enough. The development of Earth system models that accurately reproduce the interactions between boundaries, especially the integrity of the climate and biosphere, is an urgent priority, they point out in their work published in Science Advances.

Climate models suggest that the safe limit for climate change was exceeded in the late 1980s. Since 2015, UN member states have agreed to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 °C and protect the biodiversity of 30% of the world’s terrestrial, marine and freshwater areas. But, for now, the changes are not good, not enough, according to many environmental organizations as well as scientists from the Earth Commission.

“A world that develops within the limits defined by science is the only way to deal with our current situation of increasing and potentially catastrophic risks on a planetary scale. We already know this in the climate area, where the Paris agreement adopted the limit of the planet’s climate to maintain the 1.5 ° C limit,” said Johan Rockström, former director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, who led a group of 28 renowned scientists to identify the nine processes that regulate the stability and stability of the Earth system.

The researchers hope that this new study will serve as a wake-up call to the world and increase attention to the need to limit our effects on the planet in order to preserve and protect the conditions on Earth that allow humanity to thrive.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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