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2019 welcome to the anthropocene cemus


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State of the planet 2019. Welcome to the Anthropocene. Presented to CEMUS students, Uppsala, September 2019.

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2019 welcome to the anthropocene cemus

  1. 1. Welcome to the Anthropocene The past, present and future of people and planet CEMUS, Uppsala University 6th September 2019 Owen Gaffney Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Stockholm Resilience Centre Image: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
  2. 2. At the same time - people are fundamentally dependent on the capacity of the biosphere to sustain human development Key messages: • Earth is in a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene • We now risk destabilising our life support system • A risk framework for policymakers “Plantetary boundaries” defines a “Safe operating space for humanity”
  3. 3. The Big Picture
  4. 4. Unsafe Territory: Extreme Events in 2018/19
  5. 5. Living Planet Report
  6. 6. The Bigger Picture
  7. 7. Humanity’s 10,000 years of grace
  8. 8. Aborigines arrive in Australia Beginning of agriculture Great Asian, European, African, American civilisations First migration of fully modern humans out of Africa Migrations from South Asia to Europe Holocene Human Development and Earth System Dynamics Source: GRIP ice core data (Greenland) and S. Oppenheimer, ”Out of Eden”, 2004
  9. 9. Latest CO2 reading March 2019 412 ppm
  10. 10. The Great Acceleration Steffen, Broadgate, Deutsch, Gaffney, Ludwig Anthr. Review 2015. Image: Globaia
  12. 12. Are we leaving our Garden of Eden?
  13. 13. The Even Bigger Picture
  14. 14. Steffen, Rockström, Gaffney 2018
  15. 15. 20
  16. 16. In 50 years we tipped from 10,000 years Holocene to the Anthropocene What we do next 50 years will determine next 10,000 years Image: Mattias Klum
  17. 17. Arctic sea ice. Greenland Permafrost Mountain glaciers Boreal forest Jetstream West Antarctic Ice Sheet Amazon rainforest Coral reefs Atlantic circulation East Antarctic Ice Sheet Antarctic bottom waters Sahel/ West African Monsoon Tundra Cloud sensitivity/Atmospheric circulation ENSO Tipping points in the Earth system Marine biological pump Methane hydrates Arctic ozone Detected changes at 1°C Tipping point estimated beyond 2°C
  18. 18. IPC C Assessmen t Reports and 1.5C special report* 0 1 2 3 4 5 °C Past Future Changing risk landscape related to large-scale discontinuities 2001 2013 2018’* 2007 Undetectable Low High Very high 1.1°C
  19. 19. Arctic sea ice. Massive reduction in area Greenland Ice loss accelerating Permafrost Signs of increasing loss Mountain glaciers Ice loss accelerating Coral reefs Large-scale die offs 2016/2017 Boreal forest Jetstream Increasingly meandering West Antarctic Ice Sheet Ice loss accelerating Amazon rainforest Unprecedented droughts in last 15 years Atlantic circulation 30% slowdown since 1950s Tipping elements undergoing detectable large-scale changes
  20. 20. Antarctica Melting Faster than Predicted
  21. 21. Caesar et al. 2018, Nature Evidence of Changes in Earth System Is Mounting Atlantic Overturning Circulation • A key tipping element in the Earth System • Weaker today than any time in over 1000 years • Has already slowed down by 15% since 1950
  22. 22. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Meandering of the Jet Stream Animation
  23. 23. Summer extremes of 2018 linked to stalled giant waves in jet stream x Abstract The summer of 2018 witnessed a number of extreme weather events such as heatwaves in North America, Western Europe and the Caspian Sea region, and rainfall extremes in South-East Europe and Japan that occurred near-simultaneously. Here we show that some of these extremes were connected by an amplified hemisphere-wide wave number 7 circulation pattern. We show that this pattern constitutes an important teleconnection in Northern Hemisphere summer associated with prolonged and above-normal temperatures in North America, Western Europe and the Caspian Sea region. This pattern was also observed during the European heatwaves of 2003, 2006 and 2015 among others. We Kornhuber et al., 2019, Environ. Res. Letters
  24. 24. A Global Map of Potential Tipping Cascades
  25. 25. Anthropocene + Holocene Our Garden of Eden + Tipping Points hardwired = PLANETARY BOUNDARIES Image: GLOBAIA
  26. 26. Rockström et al, Nature 2009
  27. 27. Steffen, Rockström, Cornell et al 2015 Science Image: Globaia
  28. 28. Planetary Boundaries Interact – E.g. Climate, land use and Biodiversity Land use matters • Stopping deforestation and growing (back) forests are pivotal to halt GHG emissions. • Grassland and wetland management also hugely important.
  29. 29. 2009 2011 2012 2013 2015 2016 2017 2010 2014 2018 2019
  30. 30. Websites Exhibitions…
  31. 31. Ö’Neill et al Nature Sustainability A good life for all within planetary boundaries
  32. 32. Climate Change Is Top Global Threat 2018 Survey by Pew Research Center, 2018 • 26 countries, 27 000 individuals • 67 % name climate change as biggest threat (compared to 56% in 2013) • Fear of cyber-attacks and power of USA on the rise Source: Pew Research Center, 2019
  33. 33. 55 Is the Message Being Heard? Global Risk Landscape 2018-19 What is the impact and likelihood of global risks? World Economic Forum Global Risk Perception Survey 2018-2019
  34. 34. 57
  35. 35. At the same time - people are fundamentally dependent on the capacity of the biosphere to sustain human development Key messages: • Earth is in a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene • We now risk destabilising our life support system • Plantetary boundaries define a “Safe operating space for humanity”
  36. 36. Solutions space 59
  37. 37. At the same time - people are fundamentally dependent on the capacity of the biosphere to sustain human development Key messages: • Sustainable Development Goals • 6 disruptive transformations needed for sustainability • Priorities are energy, food systems and land use • Disruptive transformation is underway (but often not in the direction needed)
  38. 38. Year2030 20502040 The World In 2050 Radical transformative pathways to meet the SDGs within planetary boundaries Planetary Boundaries Degree of Global Sustainable Develpment
  39. 39. 64
  40. 40. Energy and emissions 65
  41. 41. 66 IPCC 1.5SR 2018
  42. 42. IPCC 1.5SR 2018
  43. 43. The gap between where we are likely to be and where we need to be Global greenhouse gas emissions under different scenarios and the emissions gap in 2030
  44. 44. We have already emitted a lot of CO2, and thus we can only emit a little more to stay under 1.5°C or 2°C. The dark grey area is an approximate carbon budget of 250GtCO2 from 2017 (consistent with “well below 2°C”). 1Gt CO2 equals 1 billion tonnes CO2 Emission pathways Illustrative pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement’s “well below (~1.5°C)
  45. 45. To stabilize global average temperature (at any level) requires global net emissions to be zero. Because of equity, one would expect rich countries to be zero first and poor countries later (but still zero). Everyone needs net-zero emissions Zero-year for a rich country Zero-year for a poor country Illustrative pathway consistent with the Paris Agreement’s “well below 2°C” (~1.5°C)
  46. 46. Growing scientific concern: The scale of negative emissions to remain “well below 2°C” is unrealistic.
  47. 47. CARBON LAW – a trajectory to stabilise climate 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 2020 2030 2040 2050 2060 Axis Title GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (GTCO2) LAND-USE EMISSIONS (GTCO2) CO2 REMOVAL (GtCO2) Rockström, Gaffney, Rogelj, Meinshausen, Nakicenovic, Schellnhuber. Science 24 March 2017 GIGATONNES CO2
  48. 48. 77
  49. 49. Cutting Emissions by Half 2030
  50. 50. By 2020 expect emissions peak in 53 countries… ….and a price on carbon in 51 countries Exponential Rise in Action
  51. 51. Green bonds growth – doubling every 1.5 years. On track to hit $1 trillion by 2021 Divestment growth on exponential trajectory. Fossil fuel sector on course for major shock in 2020s Exponential Rise in Action
  52. 52. Health, wellbeing and demography 81
  53. 53. 82
  54. 54. Global Analysis for GBD Study Confirms Health Effects Figure: Age-standardised mortality rate per 100 000 population (A) and DALY rate per 100 000 population (B) attributable to diet in 2017 The Lancet 2019 GBD 2017 Diet Collaborators
  55. 55. Education, gender and inequality 84
  56. 56. 85
  57. 57. Sustainable food, land, water and oceans
  58. 58. Conceptual Framework EAT-Lancet Commission
  59. 59. Scientific Targets for Sustainable Food Systems Planetary boundaries for: 1) GHG emissions 2) Water used 3) Nitrogen flows 4) Phosphorus flows 5) Biodiversity lost 6) Land converted
  60. 60. 104 Cities Macau, China
  61. 61. 107
  62. 62. Digitalisation
  63. 63. Digital revolution has the possibility to support societal goals. But is unlikely to happen without direction. The time is ripe for tech giants to assume more responsibility.
  64. 64. Digital revolution • Unintended consequences and emergent behaviour at scale • A new power emerges: • Soft power • Hard power • Platform power Rasmus Nielsson – Reuters Institute, Oxford University
  65. 65. Platform power • Automate action at scale • Surveillance • Privacy • Behavioural futures • Make or break connections • Set standards Rasmus Nielsson – Reuters Institute, Oxford University
  66. 66. New responsibility – the Biosphere Code
  67. 67. How do transformations happen in society? • Enlightenment • Industrial revolution • Womens’ rights • Civil rights • Green revolution • End apartheid • Enlightenment 121
  68. 68. Transformations are usually the result of a combination of these: • Interventions from knowledge producers • Market confidence • Social movements • Government policies • New technology 122
  69. 69. 123
  70. 70. At the same time - people are fundamentally dependent on the capacity of the biosphere to sustain human development Key messages: • 6 disruptive transformations needed for sustainability • Priorities are energy, food systems and land use • Disruptive transformation is underway (but often not in the direction needed)
  71. 71. Feeding the world within Planetary Boundaries Gerten et al., Nature (in revision) –4% → ~56% net gain possible  just enough for future demand  implies massive co-transformations –7% –12% –27% kcal change PB constraints Water & nutrient management+39% +30% Still feasible cropland expansion within PBs Food loss reduction & diet change+37% Opportunities within PBs
  72. 72. Social Tipping Points ”David tipping Goliat”?
  73. 73. A Safe Operating Space for Humanity
  74. 74. Thank You!
  75. 75. To be considered
  76. 76. New method to better understand much-employed self-learning Artificial Intelligence Learners in two-state matching pennies environment Barfuss et al. 2019, Physical Review
  77. 77. by separating the Agents Environment joint action a state, reward interaction adaptation timescales and New method to better understand self-learning agents ⇒ deriving the deterministic limit of temporal difference reinforcement learning ⇒ allows a dynamical systems perspective on reinforcement learning Barfuss et al. 2019, Physical Review
  78. 78. Learning dynamics reveal a wide rage of dynamical regimes SARSA Learning Actor-Critic LearningQ Learning Deterministic Chaos Periodic Orbits Fixed Points ⇒ shows that self-learning agents may not evolve towards a single behaviour. Instead, they may enter a continuous cycle of different behaviours or even evolve on an unpredictable trajectory. ⇒ Important to improve the design of large-scale self-learning AI systems Barfussetal.2019,PhysicalReview
  80. 80. Technologies Beat Commodities – Renewables Will Win (But Not Fast Enough) Source: Farmer and Lafond (2016)
  81. 81. Source: Energy Innovation, 2019
  82. 82. Real Photovoltaics Development vs. IEA Projections Graphik:
  83. 83. The Future of Solar Energy: Worldwide Innovation Projects Cochin International Airport, India Blackfriars Bridge, London, UK Riyuetan-Weipai-Building, China Yamakura Reservoir Lake, Japan Solar Farm, Punjab, India Train Tunnel, Holland-BelgiumSolar Farm, Noor, Morrocco
  84. 84. J.J. Hopfield, PNAS, 1982 Spin-glass models of neural networks, Amit, Gutfreund and Sompolinsky Phys. Rev. A, 1985 Towards Deep Machine Learning
  85. 85. Source:
  86. 86. Source: Silver et. al 2017 Image: DeepMind Technologies Ltd
  87. 87. Fusion of Neural Networks and Quantum Computing
  88. 88. The Dream of a Digital Circular Economy • 3-D Printing • The Internet of Things • Automation of Production • Automation of Deconstruction More Efficiency Less Material and Energy Usage Better Monitoring of Material Flows (Stahel, 2016)
  89. 89. 148