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Feeding the world within Planetary

Boundaries

IFAJ 2012

Sånga Säby

16th August 2012

Prof. Johan Rockström

Stockholm Resilience Centre


1920 1960 2000 2040 2080


July 2006

July 2007

July 2012


Growing

Human Pressure

[20/80 dilemma]

Climate change

[560/450/400 dilemma]

Ecosystem

decline

[60 % loss dilemma]

Surprise

[99/1 dilemma]


5 Photos: Mattias Klum


Humanity has reached a

planetary saturation

point

A resilient biosphere the

basis for humen

development

Climate change one

interacting component

of global sustainability

A great transformation to

global sustainability

necessary, possible, and

desirable

2012-08-16 Johan Rockström and Carl Folke,

Stockholm Resilience Centre


Ban Ki-moon

High-Level

Panel on

Global

Sustainability

The current global development model is unsustainable.

We can no longer assume that our collective actions will

not trigger tipping points as environmental thresholds are

breached, risking irreversible damage to both ecosystems

and human communities.

At the same time, such thresholds should not be used to

impose arbitrary growth ceilings on developing countries

seeking to lift their people out of poverty. Indeed, if we fail

to resolve the sustainable development dilemma, we run

the risk of condemning up to 3 billion members of our

human family to a life of endemic poverty. Neither of

these outcomes is acceptable, and we must find a new way

forward.


Food production to increase by ~70 % by 2050 to eradicate

hunger on a planet with ~9 billion people (IIASTD 2009)


Extreme weather

events more

common, with

larger social and

economic

impacts, coupled

to human

induced climate

change


Social futures 2050

7000 > 9000 km 3 /yr

IPCC AR4 Scenario, Mean

deviation (%) 2080-2099,

ensemble models


”When reality is

changing faster

than theory suggests

it should, a certain

amount of

nervousness is a

reasonable

response”

The Economist


Kummu, Ward, de Moel, Varis 2010 Environmental Research Letters


Atmospheric CO 2 concentration

Etheridge et al. Geophys Res 101: 4115-4128

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Northern hemisphere average surface

temperature

Mann et al Geophys Res Lett 26(6): 759-762

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Atmospheric N 2 O concentration

Machida et al Geophys Res Lett 22:2921-2925

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Atmospheric CH 4 concentration

Blunier et al J Geophy Res 20: 2219-2222

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Ozone depletion

JD Shanklin British Antarctic Survey

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Natural climactic disasters

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Ocean ecosystems

FAOSTAT 2002 Statistical database

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Coastal zone nitrogen flux

Mackenzie et al 2002.

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Tropical rainforest and

woodland loss

Richards, the Earth as transformed by human action, Cambridge University Press

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Domesticated land

Klein Goldewijk and Batties

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


Species extinctions

Wilson, the Diversity of Life.

IGBP synthesis: Global Change and the Earth System, Steffen et al 2004


2010-2020

”the great

CO 2 , N 2 O, CH 4

acceleration concentrations of the

human entreprise”,

Overfishing

Professor Will Steffen

Land degradation

Loss Biodiversity

The Planetary

…..

Response to the

drivers of the

Anthropocene

1900 1950 2000


Valuable Ecosystem Services

(Desirable)

Loss of ecosystem services

(Undesirable)

1

4

coral dominance

state shift

algal dominance

2

3

clear water

• overfishing, coastal

eutrophication

• disease,

hurricane

turbid water

grassland

• phosphorous accumulation

in soil and mud

• flooding, warming,

overexploitation

of predators

shrub-bushland

• fire prevention

• good rains, continuous

heavy grazing


Multiple Interacting driving forces pushing

systems towards tipping points

Natural Fire regimes

Biomass burning

Palm-oil expansion

El Nino

El Nino goes from

regenerative to

destructive force

Breaking millennia long

Fire-El Nino relationship

for Dipterocarp trees


Planetary Inter-connections

Peter Snyder et al. 2004


The Resilience of the Earth System


Humanity’s 10,000 years of grace


(Hansen and Sato, 2011)


Transgressing safe

boundaries

Global freshwater

use


Rockström et al. 2009 Nature, 461 (24): 472-475


Biogeochemical

loading: Global

N & P Cycles

Limit industrial

fixation of N 2 to 35

Tg N yr -1 (25 % of

natural fixation)

(25%-35%)

P < 10× natural

weathering inflow to

Oceans

(10× – 100×)

Climate Change

< 350 ppm CO 2 < 1W m 2

(350 – 500 ppm CO 2 ;

Rate of

Biodiversity Loss

< 10 E/MSY

(< 10 - < 1000

E/MSY)

1-1.5 W m 2 )

Land System

Change

≤15 % of land

under crops

(15-20%)

Planetary

Boundaries

Ozone depletion

< 5 % of Pre-Industrial 290 DU

(5 - 10%)

Atmospheric

Aerosol Loading

To be determined

Chemical Pollution

Plastics, Endocrine Desruptors,

Nuclear Waste Emitted globally

To be determined

Ocean acidification

Aragonite saturation

ratio > 80 % above preindustrial

levels

(> 80% - > 70 %)

Global Freshwater Use


Gt Carbon/yr

Interactions among Planetary Boundaries

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

land

ocean

atmosphere

Resilience

of the

Earth

system

Adapted from Canadell et al., 2007


A new ”global spec” for world

food production

1. Stay within 350 ppm, an agricultural system that goes

from being a source to a global sink

2. Essentially a green revolution on current cropland

(expansion from 12 % to 15 %)

3. Keep global consumptive use of blue water < 4000

km 3 /yr, we are at 2,600 km 3 /yr today and rushing fast

towards 4000 km 3 /yr

4. Reduce to 25 % of current N extraction from

atmosphere

5. Not increase P inflow to oceans

6. Reduce loss of biodiversity to < 10 E/MSY from

current 100-1000 E/MSY


Global emission pathways in

compliance with a 2 ºC guardrail

(WBGU 2009)


Meeting the Global food challenge

A triply Green Revolution

– 2-3 X production

– Social-Ecological Resilience

– Green water management


Gt Carbon/yr

Terrestrial and Marine Carbon sinks

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

land

ocean

atmosphere

Agriculture ~ 14

% of global

emissions

19 % from land

use change

including forest

loss

Agriculture

~35 % of

the planets

terrestrial

land area

Adapted from Cana

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