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What is the evidence for planetary tipping points?

Brook, BW ORCID: 0000-0002-2491-1517, Ellis, EC and Buettel, JC ORCID: 0000-0001-6737-7468 2018 , 'What is the evidence for planetary tipping points?', in P Kareiva and M Marvier and B Silliman (eds.), Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma , Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 51-57.

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Abstract

As living standards, technological capacities,and human welfare have continued to improve,concerns have mounted about possible naturallimits to economic and population growth. Climatechange, habitat loss, and recent extinctionsare examples of impacts on natural systems thathave been used as markers of global environmentaldegradation associated with the expandinginfluence of humans (Barnosky et  al., 2012;McGill et al., 2015). Past civilizations have facedrapid declines and even collapsed in the face of regionalenvironmental degradation, drought, andother environmental challenges (Scheffer, 2016;Butzer and Endfield, 2012). This begs the questionof whether long-term societal relationshipswith the planet’s ecology may be approaching aglobal tipping point as the human population hurtlestoward ten billion people. If this is indeed thecase, the future of both biodiversity and humanityhangs in the balance. The hypothesis is that withouturgent action to prevent reaching a global tippingpoint, the natural life support systems thatsustain humanity may fail abruptly, with drasticconsequences.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Brook, BW and Ellis, EC and Buettel, JC
Keywords: planetary boundaries, global tipping points, earth system
Publisher: Oxford University Press
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/oso/9780198808978.003.0008
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Oxford University Press

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