Beyond the Anthropocene?

Johann Rockstrom, Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in 21 minutes, gave the 2017 World Economic Forum a fact-packed, vividly illustrated presentation on the state of the planet. This video of the presentation is worth careful study, as it makes the obvious point that the post-1955 exponential upturn of human impact on the planet now must be followed by a similar exponential rate of downturn, particularly in greenhouse gas emissions, if we are to remotely maintain the climatic stability of the Holocene period in which humans evolved their civilsations. Such a downturn would require halving emissions every decade. He illustrates how nine planetary boundaries have been threatened through time and celebrates the one great human sustainability success in reversing the damage to the ozone layer. Rockstrom also illustrates 14 ‘tipping points’ related to the 2C Paris agreement limit for global warming. By definition, once a tipping point is passed, the situation is irretrievable.

One thought on “Beyond the Anthropocene?”

  1. http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-04-10/exiting-the-anthropocene/ – this is another article that looks, as does Rockstrom, at the likelihood of a short-lived Anthropocene epoch before the natural world reasserts itself over the damage wrought by human activity. The artlcle contains a revealing lecture by Jennifer Francis on climate change related to the warming of the Arctic and its effects on the jet stream that results in prolonged persistent patterns of weather that lead to extreme events (drought, flooding, hot or cold spells)

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