Temperature increase, water system disturbance, and natural habitat loss have already surpassed safe and just limits for humans, according to a research conducted by Earth Commission, which consist of the world’s best experts.
Climate, biodiversity, water, natural ecosystems, land use, and the influence of fertilizers and aerosols were all recognized as earth system boundaries in the study. The majority of these borders have already been breached.
It’s already hurting… causing extreme events and abrupt impacts that go beyond heatwaves, droughts, and floods caused by climate change, but also lower food security, worsening water quality, groundwater overdraft, and worsened livelihood conditions, particularly among the world’s vast vulnerable majority.
The “safe and just” limit for global temperature rise, which takes into consideration the impact on the world and people, is 1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels. But this increase is already at least at 1.1C and we are seeing the impact.
When this temperature climbs to 1.5 degrees Celsius, more than 200 million people will be exposed to unprecedented mean annual temperatures, and more than 500 million would be vulnerable to long-term sea level rises.
According to the study, between 50% and 60% of the earth’s surface required to be covered by mainly intact ecosystems – a number that has already been breached. The various earth systems boundaries (ESB) outlined in the research are “interconnected”, meaning that overshooting the safe limit for one will have a knock-on impact on others.
Reference- National Geographic, Financial Times, Clean Technica, Earth Commission Report, Journal Nature