A new study published in the newspaper “Science”, conducted by 18 scientists, shows that planet Earth is not so slowly crossing the “planetary boundaries”, one by one, having cut across four so far. Why should this concern us? Because it will prove our planet to be unfit to support human life. The researchers are now trying to find an approximate prognosis for the “breaking point” of our natural world as we know it, and it’s not looking good: less than a century.
The recent study finds out that four of our nine systems of critical were exceeded, putting humanity outside a safety and stability zone. Those categories are as it follows: deforestation, altered biogeochemical cycles, extinction rate, and climate change.
Will Steffen, the leader of the study, assigned human actions as the lead cause of the unbalanced world environment we have today. Opposed to what he have been told so far, Steffen calls these matters immediate problems, no longer pertaining to an unknown future, but affecting our lives as we speak. The speed with which we burn through the planet’s safety systems is mostly due to the economic boom which started in 1950 and has continued ever since at a very accelerated pace.
Year 2009 brought us the nine planetary boundaries the scientists focus on today, setting certain limits our environment can support, beyond which we do not know for sure what can happen. One of the researchers involved in the study explained that these limits should be perceived such as warnings of avalanche or severe weather alerts. They should not be taken lightly.
The consequences are unclear, but it will surely make our planet much less hospitable to humans and they will start hindering human progress. The study did not claim to have specific solutions, carrying out a warning role for those in power of changing the situation, and also an explanation for the current global problems.
The study showed exceeding of CO2 limits, rising at a very fast pace and reaching the “zone of uncertainty” in only a few decades, as the situation presents itself today. Another damaged category pertains to nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. These elements have been overused by 250 per cent, having the most harmful effect on water quality around the globe.
The “remarkable stable state” of our planet, which endured for thousands of years, ended about one hundred years ago, but the real danger is coming quicker than we thought.
Image Source: UC San Diego