Environment

The Limits to What Earth Can Take

There are limits to what our planet can take, and by identifying and quantifying where these limits are, we could help prevent human activities from pushing the natural systems over the brim.

That is at least what a group of scientists, led by professor Johan Rockström at Stockholm University, propose in the international science journal Nature.

The group has identified nine critical areas and suggested where the threshold is, before we risk dramatic consequences.

In three of these areas, the threshold has already been reached, and that is in biodiversity loss and climate change - and human interference with the nitrogen cycle which to a large extent is by manufacturing fertiliser for food production.

If we, on the other hand, manage to keep within the boundaries, there is good hope that we can continue with the stabile environment that we have had for the last 10,000 years, say the scientists.