"An international team of 18 researchers provide new evidence of significant changes in four of the nine systems which regulate the resilience of the Earth. One of the systems which has been seriously affected is the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle which is essential to all life, and is particularly important to both food production and the maintenance of clean water.
"People depend on food, and food production depends on clean water," says Prof. Elena Bennett from McGill's School of the Environment who contributed the research on the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle to the study. "This new data shows that our ability both to produce sufficient food in the future and to have clean water to drink and to swim in are at risk."
The research fixing new planetary boundaries (which represent thresholds or tipping points beyond which there will be irreversible and abrupt environmental change) was published today in the journal Science. It suggests that changes to the Earth's climate, biosphere integrity (a concept covering loss of biodiversity and species extinction), and land-system (through deforestation for example) represent a risk for current and future societies. The fourth process which has become significantly compromised is the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle, which affects both the water we drink and our ability to produce food.
The concept of planetary boundaries has been updated with new assessments and quantifications.Climate change and biosphere integrity identified as core planetary boundaries. Significantly altering either of these "core boundaries" would "drive the Earth System into a new state".Four boundaries are assessed to have been crossed, placing humanity in a danger zone: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and species extinction), land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (fertiliser use - phosphorus and nitrogen).Crossing boundaries raises the risks to current and future societies of destabilising the Earth System – the complex interactions of land, ocean, atmosphere, ice sheets, life and people.Internationally agreed upper climate limit of 2 degrees lies beyond the climate change boundary: which makes 2 degrees a risky target for humanity, and therefore an absolute minimum target for the global climate negotiations.
Nine planetary boundaries:
Climate changeChange in biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and species extinction)Stratospheric ozone depletionOcean acidificationBiogeochemical flows (phosphorus and nitrogen cycles)Land-system change (for example deforestation)Freshwater useAtmospheric aerosol loading (microscopic particles in the atmosphere that affect climate and living organisms)Introduction of novel entities (e.g. organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials, and micro-plastics)."
While some celebrated shale oil as a boom, Nick Hodge derided it as a Ponzi scheme. Today the shale sector quivers before the specter of falling oil prices, and the oil majors that have invested heavily in shale may be humbled. In this interview with The Energy Report, the founder of the Outsider Club and investment director of Early Advantage argues that nuclear energy is about to reassert itself, and that solar power is on the verge of becoming a major energy source. He also highlights one uranium and four solar companies with especially bright futures.
What was the last romantic gift you gave? Did it have a diamond? If not, you're not alone. Diamond gifts as well are falling out of favour with many, particularly younger people. Perhaps it's because of a suspicion of diamond marketing, and a rejection of the idea that love can be measured in cut, clarity,…
Central versus distributed storage has been an ongoing debate. Each has its pros and cons. There are instances where the advantage of one over the other is obvious — such as central bulk storage at geological sites where caverns or water reservoirs with different elevations are almost readily
While the U.S. may aim for a 15% Renewable Energy Standard by 2021, and Northern Ireland has just confirmed a much stronger target of 40% renewable energy by 2020, Scotland is aiming a bit higher. It announced today that it plans to get “at least” 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Wow.
Scotland is planning to export a lot of its clean energy to its neighbor to the south, England, which has lagged behind the rest of Europe on clean energy.
In a new study to evaluate the Brazilian Soy Moratorium, researchers across the U.S. and Brazil show that the moratorium helped to drastically reduce the amount of deforestation linked to soy production in the region and was much better at curbing it than governmental policy alone.
Une journée de pillage ordinaire s’achève à Antanandavehely, paisible village accroché au flanc oriental de la péninsule de Masoala, la plus grande aire naturelle protégée de Madagascar, dans le nord-est de la grande île de l’océan Indien. La nuit tombe en contrebas sur le fleuve encore écrasé de soleil et les derniers radeaux chargés de bois de rose se pressent sur les berges assoupies.
Beth Moon’s father made an impression on her when he told stories about his childhood learning the names of birds, trees, and flowers. Around 14 years ago, while living in England, she began to photograph trees, traveling around the country in search of some of the oldest yews. She then...
Ten years after remediation was complete at the E.I. DuPont Superfund site in Newport, Del., the area had few options for reuse.
An 18-inch layer of soil capped a landfill where the toxic byproducts of pigment manufacturing had been dumped for decades. A barrier planted between the landfill and a nearby stream prevented the chemicals from migrating. The contamination no longer posed a threat to the environment or workers at nearby factories. But the land wasn't being used.
-▶ WHY SARDINES MATTER - CRITICAL MARINE SPECIES FOOD SOURCE IN STEEP DECLINE
The Pacific coast of North America supports one of the most vibrant and diverse marine ecosystems on Earth, largely because of the presence of thick schools of small prey fish such as Pacific sardines.
Stephen Starr: Two French oceanography researchers expected to find pollution on their 8,345km, 14-month kayak journey from Gibraltar to Istanbul – but what shocked them was the endless spread of cities along the coast...