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PLANETARY BOUNDARIES
the urgent need for societal transformations
PLANETARY BOUNDARIES
the urgent need for societal transformations
Planetary and societal
risks
Why we need planetary stewardship
Professor Sybil Seitzinger
Executive Director
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
Antarctic ice core
Loulergue, L.,et al Orbittal and millennial-scale features of atmospheric CH4 over the past 800,000 years, Nature, 2008.
Lüthi, D. et al High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present Nature, 2008.
Carbon
dioxide
Methane
Modern humans appear in Africa
Carbon
dioxide
Temperature
Methane
Antarctic ice core
Loulergue, L.,et al Orbittal and millennial-scale features of atmospheric CH4 over the past 800,000 years, Nature, 2008.
Lüthi, D. et al High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present Nature, 2008.
Carbon
dioxide
Methane
Beyond natural boundaries
Source: GRIP ice core data (Greenland)
And S. Oppenheimer, ”Out of Eden”, 2004
Human Development and
Glacial-Interglacial Cycling
Source: GRIP ice core data (Greenland) and S. Oppenheimer, ”Out of Eden”,
2004
First migration of
fully modern
humans out of Africa
Modern humans
arrive in
Australia
Migrations of fully
modern humans from
South Asia to Europe
Beginning
of agriculture
Great European
civilizations:
Greek, Roman
The Holocene
IGBP Climate-change index
Global carbon dioxide Arctic sea-ice minimum
Global surface temperature Global sea level
IGBP Climate-change index
The Great Acceleration
– a planet under pressure
Population
US Bureau of the Census (2000) International database
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Total real GDP
Nordhaus (1997) The economics of new goods. University of Chicago Press
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Foreign direct investment
World Bank (2002) data and statistics
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Damming of rivers
World Commission on Dams (2000)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Water use
Shiklomanov (1990) Global Water Resources
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Fertiliser consumption
International Fertilizer Industry Association (2002)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Urban population
The State of the World’s Cities (2001)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Paper consumption
Pulp and paper international (1993)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Motor vehicles
Global environmental outlook (2000)
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Telephones
Canning (2001) A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95 World Bank
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
International tourism
World Tourism Organization (2001) Tourism industry trends
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Shrimp farm production
IAnnual shrimp production as a proxy for coastal zone alteration. Sources: WRI
(2003) A guide to world resources, 2002-2004
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Domesticated land
Amount of land converted to pasture and cropland. Source: Klein Goldewijk and Battjes (1997)
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Bilthoven, Netherlands
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Planetary response
Atmospheric CO2 concentration
Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Atmospheric N2O concentration
Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Atmospheric CH4 concentration
Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Northern hemisphere average surface
temperature
Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Ozone depletion
percentage total column ozone loss over Antarctica, using the average annual total
column ozone, 330, as a base. Image: J.D. Shanklin, British Antarctic Survey
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Tropical rainforest and woodland loss
Loss of tropical rainforest and woodland, as estimated for tropical Africa, Latin America and South and
Southeast Asia. Sources: Richards (1990) In: The Earth as transformed by human action, Cambridge
University Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Natural climatic disasters
Decadal frequency of great floods (one-in-100-year events) after 1860 for basins larger than 200 000 km2 with
observations that span at least 30 years. Source: Milly et al. (2002) Nature 415:514-517 IGBP synthesis:
Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Fisheries exploitation
Percentage of global fisheries either fully exploited, overfished or collapsed. Source:
FAOSTAT (2002) Statistical databases
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Coastal zone nitrogen flux
Model-calculated partitioning of the human-induced nitrogen perturbation fluxes in the global coastal
margin for the period since 1850. Source: Mackenzie et al. (2002) Chem. Geology 190:13-32
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Biodiversity loss
Mathematically calculated rate of extinction. Source: Wilson (1992) The diversity of life, the Penguin Press.
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
Great acceleration
IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
“Our foot is stuck
on the accelerator
and we are
heading towards
an abyss.”
Ban Ki-Moon
A resilient Earth System
Reduced resilience – our precarious
predicament
Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt
National Geographic, February 2008 – © National Geographic Society, All rights reserved.
Where are the thresholds
in the Earth system?
Climate Change
Ocean
Acidification
Ozone
Depletion
Global
Freshwater Use
Rate of
Biodiversity Loss
Phosphorus
Atmospheric
Aerosol Loading
Land System
Change
Chemical
Pollution
Nitrogen
Rockström et al. 2009
A safe operating space for humanity
2011 Global Risks Report
World Economic Forum
“The world is in no
position to face major,
new shocks.”
Planetary stewardship
- a safe operating space for humanity
Planetary Stewardship
2020 2040 20502030
New knowledge toward solutions
London, 26-29 March 2012
Planetary and societal
risks
Why we need planetary stewardship
Professor Sybil Seitzinger
Executive Director
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
www.igbp.net
Sybil.seitzinger@igbp.kva.se

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Planetary Stewardship (Sybil Seitzinger)

  • 1. PLANETARY BOUNDARIES the urgent need for societal transformations
  • 2. PLANETARY BOUNDARIES the urgent need for societal transformations
  • 3. Planetary and societal risks Why we need planetary stewardship Professor Sybil Seitzinger Executive Director International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
  • 4. Antarctic ice core Loulergue, L.,et al Orbittal and millennial-scale features of atmospheric CH4 over the past 800,000 years, Nature, 2008. Lüthi, D. et al High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present Nature, 2008. Carbon dioxide Methane Modern humans appear in Africa Carbon dioxide Temperature Methane
  • 5. Antarctic ice core Loulergue, L.,et al Orbittal and millennial-scale features of atmospheric CH4 over the past 800,000 years, Nature, 2008. Lüthi, D. et al High-resolution carbon dioxide concentration record 650,000-800,000 years before present Nature, 2008. Carbon dioxide Methane Beyond natural boundaries
  • 6. Source: GRIP ice core data (Greenland) And S. Oppenheimer, ”Out of Eden”, 2004 Human Development and Glacial-Interglacial Cycling Source: GRIP ice core data (Greenland) and S. Oppenheimer, ”Out of Eden”, 2004 First migration of fully modern humans out of Africa Modern humans arrive in Australia Migrations of fully modern humans from South Asia to Europe Beginning of agriculture Great European civilizations: Greek, Roman The Holocene
  • 7. IGBP Climate-change index Global carbon dioxide Arctic sea-ice minimum Global surface temperature Global sea level
  • 9. The Great Acceleration – a planet under pressure
  • 10. Population US Bureau of the Census (2000) International database IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 11. Total real GDP Nordhaus (1997) The economics of new goods. University of Chicago Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 12. Foreign direct investment World Bank (2002) data and statistics IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 13. Damming of rivers World Commission on Dams (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 14. Water use Shiklomanov (1990) Global Water Resources IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 15. Fertiliser consumption International Fertilizer Industry Association (2002) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 16. Urban population The State of the World’s Cities (2001) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 17. Paper consumption Pulp and paper international (1993) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 18. Motor vehicles Global environmental outlook (2000) IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 19. Telephones Canning (2001) A database of world infrastructure stocks, 1950-95 World Bank IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 20. International tourism World Tourism Organization (2001) Tourism industry trends IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 21. Shrimp farm production IAnnual shrimp production as a proxy for coastal zone alteration. Sources: WRI (2003) A guide to world resources, 2002-2004 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 22. Domesticated land Amount of land converted to pasture and cropland. Source: Klein Goldewijk and Battjes (1997) National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Bilthoven, Netherlands IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 24. Atmospheric CO2 concentration Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 25. Atmospheric N2O concentration Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 26. Atmospheric CH4 concentration Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 27. Northern hemisphere average surface temperature Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 28. Ozone depletion percentage total column ozone loss over Antarctica, using the average annual total column ozone, 330, as a base. Image: J.D. Shanklin, British Antarctic Survey IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 29. Tropical rainforest and woodland loss Loss of tropical rainforest and woodland, as estimated for tropical Africa, Latin America and South and Southeast Asia. Sources: Richards (1990) In: The Earth as transformed by human action, Cambridge University Press IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 30. Natural climatic disasters Decadal frequency of great floods (one-in-100-year events) after 1860 for basins larger than 200 000 km2 with observations that span at least 30 years. Source: Milly et al. (2002) Nature 415:514-517 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 31. Fisheries exploitation Percentage of global fisheries either fully exploited, overfished or collapsed. Source: FAOSTAT (2002) Statistical databases IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 32. Coastal zone nitrogen flux Model-calculated partitioning of the human-induced nitrogen perturbation fluxes in the global coastal margin for the period since 1850. Source: Mackenzie et al. (2002) Chem. Geology 190:13-32 IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 33. Biodiversity loss Mathematically calculated rate of extinction. Source: Wilson (1992) The diversity of life, the Penguin Press. IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 34. Great acceleration IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004
  • 35. “Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss.” Ban Ki-Moon
  • 37. Reduced resilience – our precarious predicament
  • 38. Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt National Geographic, February 2008 – © National Geographic Society, All rights reserved. Where are the thresholds in the Earth system?
  • 39. Climate Change Ocean Acidification Ozone Depletion Global Freshwater Use Rate of Biodiversity Loss Phosphorus Atmospheric Aerosol Loading Land System Change Chemical Pollution Nitrogen Rockström et al. 2009 A safe operating space for humanity
  • 40. 2011 Global Risks Report World Economic Forum “The world is in no position to face major, new shocks.”
  • 41. Planetary stewardship - a safe operating space for humanity
  • 43. New knowledge toward solutions London, 26-29 March 2012
  • 44. Planetary and societal risks Why we need planetary stewardship Professor Sybil Seitzinger Executive Director International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme www.igbp.net Sybil.seitzinger@igbp.kva.se

Editor's Notes

  1. This great acceleration really started in the 50s
  2. Beyond climate
  3. The financial crisis has reduced global economic resilience, while increasing geopolitical tension and heightened social concerns suggest that both governments and societies are less able than ever to cope with global challenges.” Munich Re reported 2010 was a record year for natural catastrophes. 950. 90% were weather related. Russia saw an unprecedented drought affecting its grain harvest. Export bans led to food price hikes sparking tension in Tunisia, which spread to Egypt and the rest of the middle east. Interconnected risks.