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Planetary Boundaries

To avoid catastrophic environmental change humanity must stay within defined 'planetary boundaries' for a range of essential Earth-system processes, argue Johan Rockström and his co-authors in a Nature Feature. If one boundary is transgressed, then safe levels for other processes could also be under serious risk, they caution. Seven expert commentaries respond to this proposal in Nature Reports Climate Change. Join the debate and listen to the podcast.


  • A safe operating space for humanity

    Identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change, argue Johan Rockström and colleagues.

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  • Commentaries

    Join seven experts to debate the boundaries proposal at Nature Reports Climate Change: William H. Schlesinger on nitrogen and phosphorus cycle, Steve Bass on land-use, Myles Allen on atmospheric carbon dioxide, Mario J. Molina on stratospheric ozone, David Molden on freshwater, Peter Brewer on ocean acidification and Cristián Samper on biodiversity.

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Elsewhere on Nature.com

  • The Road to Copenhagen

    As the world prepares to descend on Copenhagen to wrangle over the details of a new climate deal in December, Nature is covering every aspect of the science and politics of climate change.

  • The Road to Copenhagen

    An interview with author Johan Rockström, plus analysis from editor Ehsan Masood.

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