Earth is approaching tipping points after passing seven of eight scientifically recognized safety limits.
A multinational committee of top environmental and social experts, the Earth Commission, warned that people are risking civilization and all life on Earth.
Humanity is well into the Anthropocene, the projected new geological era when human forces have set the Earth system on a trajectory heading fast away from the stable system, according to a Nature article.
Climate, air pollution, phosphorus and nitrogen contamination of water from fertilizer misuse, groundwater resources, fresh surface water, the unbuilt natural environment, and the natural and human-built environment were examined. Only air pollution wasn’t dangerous internationally.
“Overwhelming data demonstrates that planetary stability requires a just and equitable approach. Justice is required for biophysical safety. “This includes setting just targets to prevent significant harm and guarantee access to resources for people and for as well as just transformations to achieve those targets,” said co-author Prof. Joyeeta Gupta.
The study found “hotspots” of problem areas
“Hotspots” in Eastern Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and sections of Africa, Brazil, Mexico, China, and the U.S. West.
The Asia High Mountain Cryosphere (AHMC) is rapidly changing and close to becoming a new tipping element, which might affect the regional social economy, the researchers said.
“We are in a danger zone for most of the Earth system boundaries,” said research co-author Kristie Ebi, a University of Washington climate and public health professor. “Our doctor would say that the Earth is really quite sick right now and it is sick in terms of many different areas” if Earth had an annual medical.
The researchers claimed science demonstrates that Earth’s other biophysical systems and processes that affect its viability must be managed. Tens of millions of people are already damaged by climate change, which is set at 1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial temperatures, according to the research.
Scientists claimed the earth can recover if it alters its use of coal, oil, and natural gas and its land and water consumption. “We are moving in the wrong direction on basically all of these,” said study main author Johan Rockstrom.
About 40 experts set quantitative criteria for each environmental category, including what’s safe for the earth and what’s damaging to groups of people, which the researchers called a justice problem.