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Earth Beyond Six of Nine Planetary Boundaries

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As human impact on Earth continues to increase, scientists have tracked the changes and monitor the health of the planet. Unfortunately, scientists have found that humans have pushed Earth outside of the safe operating space for the long-term survival of our species. Human use of fossil fuels and human destruction of biodiversity lie at the core of the damage being done—and threat to all.

Abstract: This planetary boundaries framework update finds that six of the nine boundaries are transgressed, suggesting that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity. Ocean acidification is close to being breached, while aerosol loading regionally exceeds the boundary. Stratospheric ozone levels have slightly recovered. The transgression level has increased for all boundaries earlier identified as overstepped. As primary production drives Earth system biosphere functions, human appropriation of net primary production is proposed as a control variable for functional biosphere integrity. This boundary is also transgressed. Earth system modeling of different levels of the transgression of the climate and land system change boundaries illustrates that these anthropogenic impacts on Earth system must be considered in a systemic context.

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