Scientists have issued a stark warning that Earth’s life-sustaining are so damaged that the planet now resides “well beyond the secure operational confines for humanity.”
Research determined that six out of nine “planetary boundaries” have been breached due to human-induced pollution and the depletion of the natural environment. These planetary boundaries denote the thresholds governing vital global systems, such as climate, water, and biodiversity. Breaching these thresholds jeopardises their capacity to sustain a healthy planet.
The violation of these boundaries signifies a considerable departure from the secure and stable state that persisted from the conclusion of the last ice age, around 10,000 years ago, until the advent of the industrial revolution. This era, referred to as the Holocene, gave rise to modern civilisation.
This evaluation marks the inaugural examination of all nine planetary boundaries, signifying the “inaugural scientific health assessment for the entire planet,” as asserted by the researchers. Of these boundaries, six have already transgressed, while two—air pollution and ocean acidification—are perilously close to being breached.
The ozone is the sole boundary not currently under threat, as measures taken to phase out harmful chemicals in recent decades have resulted in the reduction of the ozone hole.
Scientists have expressed their utmost concern regarding the discovery that all four of the biological boundaries, which encompass the living world, are either at or dangerously close to the highest risk level. The living world plays a crucial role on Earth, offering resilience by offsetting certain physical alterations—such as trees absorbing carbon dioxide pollution.
Urgent action needed
Immediate action is needed to address the damage to our planet’s life support systems.
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