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Opinion: Life on Earth — soon impossible?

According to Katherine Richardson and 28 additional authors, Earth is now “well outside of the safe operating space for humanity” on six of the nine “boundaries” established by experts in the earth sciences. Their article appears in the Sept. 15, 2023, issue of Science Advances, the journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the authors, told the Associated Press (AP), “We are in very bad shape. We show in this analysis that the planet is losing resilience and the patient is sick.”

9 boundaries

More than a decade ago, Rockstrom and his associates delineated nine boundary areas that are indicative of Earth’s health. In 2015, they published an update, stating that conditions on our planet had exceeded five of the nine boundaries. The current article in Science Advances adds a sixth condition.


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