A Safe Operating Space for Humanity

Although Earth has undergone many periods of significant environmental change, the planet’s environment has been unusually stable for the past 10,000 years. This period of stability — known to geologists as the Holocene — has seen human consequences for humanity civilizations arise, develop and thrive. Such stability may now be under threat. Since the Industrial Revolution, a new era has arisen, the Anthropocene, in which human actions have become the main driver of global environmental change. This could see human activities push the Earth system outside the stable environmental state of the Holocene, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world.

Rockstrom et al. "A Safe Operating Space for Humanity." Nature 461, no. 7263 472-75

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