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Publications (10 of 109) Show all publications
Nyasulu, M. K., Fetzer, I., Wang-Erlandsson, L., Stenzel, F., Gerten, D., Rockström, J. & Falkenmark, M. (2024). African rainforest moisture contribution to continental agricultural water consumption. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 346, Article ID 109867.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>African rainforest moisture contribution to continental agricultural water consumption
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2024 (English)In: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, ISSN 0168-1923, E-ISSN 1873-2240, Vol. 346, article id 109867Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Precipitation is essential for food production in Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 80 % of agriculture is rainfed. Although ∼40 % of precipitation in certain regions is recycled moisture from Africa's tropical rainforest, there needs to be more knowledge about how this moisture supports the continent's agriculture. In this study, we quantify all moisture sources for agrarian precipitation (African agricultural precipitationshed), the estimates of African rainforest's moisture contribution to agricultural precipitation, and the evaporation from agricultural land across the continent. Applying a moisture tracking model (UTRACK) and a dynamic global vegetation model (LPJmL), we find that the Congo rainforest (>60 % tree cover) is a crucial moisture source for many agricultural regions. Although most of the rainforest acreage is in the DRC, many neighboring nations rely significantly on rainforest moisture for their rainfed agriculture, and even in remote places, rainforest moisture accounts for ∼10–20 % of agricultural water use. Given continuous deforestation and climate change, which impact rainforest areas and resilience, more robust governance for conserving the Congo rainforest is necessary to ensure future food production across multiple Sub-Saharan African countries.

Keywords
Moisture recycling, Tropical rainforest, Green water, Agricultural production, Africa
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Forest Science
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-226779 (URN)10.1016/j.agrformet.2023.109867 (DOI)001154965500001 ()2-s2.0-85181965442 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-01033
Available from: 2024-02-19 Created: 2024-02-19 Last updated: 2024-04-05Bibliographically approved
Tobian, A., Gerten, D., Fetzer, I., Schaphoff, S., Andersen, L. S., Cornell, S. E. & Rockström, J. (2024). Climate change critically affects the status of the land-system change planetary boundary. Environmental Research Letters, 19(5), Article ID 054060.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate change critically affects the status of the land-system change planetary boundary
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2024 (English)In: Environmental Research Letters, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 19, no 5, article id 054060Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity. To date, these boundaries have mostly been investigated separately, and it is unclear whether breaching one boundary can lead to the transgression of another. By employing a dynamic global vegetation model, we systematically simulate the strength and direction of the effects of different transgression levels of the climate change boundary (using climate output from ten phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project models for CO2 levels ranging from 350 ppm to 1000 ppm). We focus on climate change-induced shifts of Earth's major forest biomes, the control variable for the land-system change boundary, both by the end of this century and, to account for the long-term legacy effect, by the end of the millennium. Our simulations show that while staying within the 350 ppm climate change boundary co-stabilizes the land-system change boundary, breaching it (>450 ppm) leads to critical transgression of the latter, with greater severity the higher the ppm level rises and the more time passes. Specifically, this involves a poleward treeline shift, boreal forest dieback (nearly completely within its current area under extreme climate scenarios), competitive expansion of temperate forest into today's boreal zone, and a slight tropical forest extension. These interacting changes also affect other planetary boundaries (freshwater change and biosphere integrity) and provide feedback to the climate change boundary itself. Our quantitative process-based study highlights the need for interactions to be studied for a systemic operationalization of the planetary boundaries framework.

Keywords
planetary boundaries, climate change, biome shifts, Earth system interactions, biosphere feedbacks
National Category
Climate Research Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-229366 (URN)10.1088/1748-9326/ad40c2 (DOI)001215909800001 ()2-s2.0-85193034536 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-05-23 Created: 2024-05-23 Last updated: 2024-05-23Bibliographically approved
Rockström, J., Kotzé, L., Milutinović, S., Biermann, F., Brovkin, V., Donges, J., . . . Steffen, W. (2024). The planetary commons: A new paradigm for safeguarding Earth-regulating systems in the Anthropocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(5), Article ID e2301531121.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The planetary commons: A new paradigm for safeguarding Earth-regulating systems in the Anthropocene
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2024 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 121, no 5, article id e2301531121Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Anthropocene signifies the start of a no-analogue trajectory of the Earth system that is fundamentally different from the Holocene. This new trajectory is characterized by rising risks of triggering irreversible and unmanageable shifts in Earth system functioning. We urgently need a new global approach to safeguard critical Earth system regulating functions more effectively and comprehensively. The global commons framework is the closest example of an existing approach with the aim of governing biophysical systems on Earth upon which the world collectively depends. Derived during stable Holocene conditions, the global commons framework must now evolve in the light of new Anthropocene dynamics. This requires a fundamental shift from a focus only on governing shared resources beyond national jurisdiction, to one that secures critical functions of the Earth system irrespective of national boundaries. We propose a new framework—the planetary commons—which differs from the global commons framework by including not only globally shared geographic regions but also critical biophysical systems that regulate the resilience and state, and therefore livability, on Earth. The new planetary commons should articulate and create comprehensive stewardship obligations through Earth system governance aimed at restoring and strengthening planetary resilience and justice. 

Keywords
Anthropocene, Earth system governance, global commons, international law, planetary boundaries
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227258 (URN)10.1073/pnas.2301531121 (DOI)001167415600003 ()38252839 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85183233349 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-03-08 Created: 2024-03-08 Last updated: 2024-05-08Bibliographically approved
Richardson, K., Steffen, W., Lucht, W., Bendtsen, J., Cornell, S. E., Donges, J. F., . . . Rockström, J. (2023). Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries. Science Advances, 9(37), Article ID eadh2458.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries
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2023 (English)In: Science Advances, E-ISSN 2375-2548, Vol. 9, no 37, article id eadh2458Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This planetary boundaries framework update finds that six of the nine boundaries are transgressed, suggesting that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity. Ocean acidification is close to being breached, while aerosol loading regionally exceeds the boundary. Stratospheric ozone levels have slightly recovered. The transgression level has increased for all boundaries earlier identified as overstepped. As primary production drives Earth system biosphere functions, human appropriation of net primary production is proposed as a control variable for functional biosphere integrity. This boundary is also transgressed. Earth system modeling of different levels of the transgression of the climate and land system change boundaries illustrates that these anthropogenic impacts on Earth system must be considered in a systemic context.

National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-223782 (URN)10.1126/sciadv.adh2458 (DOI)001081844700013 ()37703365 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85171235514 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-11-15 Created: 2023-11-15 Last updated: 2023-11-15Bibliographically approved
Wunderling, N., Winkelmann, R., Rockström, J., Loriani, S., Armstrong McKay, D. I., Ritchie, P. D. L., . . . Donges, J. F. (2023). Global warming overshoots increase risks of climate tipping cascades in a network model. Nature Climate Change, 13(1), 75-82
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Global warming overshoots increase risks of climate tipping cascades in a network model
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2023 (English)In: Nature Climate Change, ISSN 1758-678X, E-ISSN 1758-6798, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 75-82Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Current policies and actions make it very likely, at least temporarily, to overshoot the Paris climate targets of 1.5–<2.0 °C above pre-industrial levels. If this global warming range is exceeded, potential tipping elements such as the Greenland Ice Sheet and Amazon rainforest may be at increasing risk of crossing critical thresholds. This raises the question of how much this risk is amplified by increasing overshoot magnitude and duration. Here we investigate the danger for tipping under a range of temperature overshoot scenarios using a stylized network model of four interacting climate tipping elements. Our model analysis reveals that temporary overshoots can increase tipping risks by up to 72% compared with non-overshoot scenarios, even when the long-term equilibrium temperature stabilizes within the Paris range. Our results suggest that avoiding high-end climate risks is possible only for low-temperature overshoots and if long-term temperatures stabilize at or below today’s levels of global warming.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-214575 (URN)10.1038/s41558-022-01545-9 (DOI)000903135300002 ()2-s2.0-85144578076 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-02-06 Created: 2023-02-06 Last updated: 2023-02-28Bibliographically approved
Rammelt, C. F., Gupta, J., Liverman, D., Scholtens, J., Ciobanu, D., Abrams, J. F., . . . Zimm, C. (2023). Impacts of meeting minimum access on critical earth systems amidst the Great Inequality. Nature Sustainability, 6(2), 212-221
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impacts of meeting minimum access on critical earth systems amidst the Great Inequality
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2023 (English)In: Nature Sustainability, E-ISSN 2398-9629, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 212-221Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to improve access to resources and services, reduce environmental degradation, eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. However, the magnitude of the environmental burden that would arise from meeting the needs of the poorest is under debate—especially when compared to much larger burdens from the rich. We show that the ‘Great Acceleration’ of human impacts was characterized by a ‘Great Inequality’ in using and damaging the environment. We then operationalize ‘just access’ to minimum energy, water, food and infrastructure. We show that achieving just access in 2018, with existing inequalities, technologies and behaviours, would have produced 2–26% additional impacts on the Earth’s natural systems of climate, water, land and nutrients—thus further crossing planetary boundaries. These hypothetical impacts, caused by about a third of humanity, equalled those caused by the wealthiest 1–4%. Technological and behavioural changes thus far, while important, did not deliver just access within a stable Earth system. Achieving these goals therefore calls for a radical redistribution of resources.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-211567 (URN)10.1038/s41893-022-00995-5 (DOI)000881702400001 ()2-s2.0-85141858255 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-11-25 Created: 2022-11-25 Last updated: 2023-02-27Bibliographically approved
Rockström, J., Lade, S. J., Armstrong McKay, D. I., Ciobanu, D., Rocha, J. & Zhang, X. (2023). Safe and just Earth system boundaries. Nature, 619(7968), 102-111
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safe and just Earth system boundaries
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2023 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 619, no 7968, p. 102-111Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The stability and resilience of the Earth system and human well-being are inseparably linked, yet their interdependencies are generally under-recognized; consequently, they are often treated independently. Here, we use modelling and literature assessment to quantify safe and just Earth system boundaries (ESBs) for climate, the biosphere, water and nutrient cycles, and aerosols at global and subglobal scales. We propose ESBs for maintaining the resilience and stability of the Earth system (safe ESBs) and minimizing exposure to significant harm to humans from Earth system change (a necessary but not sufficient condition for justice). The stricter of the safe or just boundaries sets the integrated safe and just ESB. Our findings show that justice considerations constrain the integrated ESBs more than safety considerations for climate and atmospheric aerosol loading. Seven of eight globally quantified safe and just ESBs and at least two regional safe and just ESBs in over half of global land area are already exceeded. We propose that our assessment provides a quantitative foundation for safeguarding the global commons for all people now and into the future.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-229959 (URN)10.1038/s41586-023-06083-8 (DOI)001002578400001 ()37258676 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85160783146 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-06-03 Created: 2024-06-03 Last updated: 2024-06-03Bibliographically approved
Wang-Erlandsson, L., Tobian, A., van der Ent, R. J., Fetzer, I., te Wierik, S., Porkka, M., . . . Rockström, J. (2022). A planetary boundary for green water. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 3(6), 380-392
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A planetary boundary for green water
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2022 (English)In: Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-138X, Vol. 3, no 6, p. 380-392Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Green water — terrestrial precipitation, evaporation and soil moisture — is fundamental to Earth system dynamics and is now extensively perturbed by human pressures at continental to planetary scales. However, green water lacks explicit consideration in the existing planetary boundaries framework that demarcates a global safe operating space for humanity. In this Perspective, we propose a green water planetary boundary and estimate its current status. The green water planetary boundary can be represented by the percentage of ice-free land area on which root-zone soil moisture deviates from Holocene variability for any month of the year. Provisional estimates of departures from Holocene-like conditions, alongside evidence of widespread deterioration in Earth system functioning, indicate that the green water planetary boundary is already transgressed. Moving forward, research needs to address and account for the role of root-zone soil moisture for Earth system resilience in view of ecohydrological, hydroclimatic and sociohydrological interactions.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-204758 (URN)10.1038/s43017-022-00287-8 (DOI)000788332500002 ()2-s2.0-85129565453 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-05-19 Created: 2022-05-19 Last updated: 2024-02-19Bibliographically approved
van Vuuren, D. P., Zimm, C., Busch, S., Kriegler, E., Leininger, J., Messner, D., . . . Soergel, B. (2022). Defining a sustainable development target space for 2030 and 2050. One Earth, 5(2), 142-156
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Defining a sustainable development target space for 2030 and 2050
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2022 (English)In: One Earth, ISSN 2590-3330, E-ISSN 2590-3322, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 142-156Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With the establishment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), countries worldwide agreed to a prosperous, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable future for all. This ambition, however, exposes a critical gap in science-based insights, namely on how to achieve the 17 SDGs simultaneously. Quantitative goal-seeking scenario studies could help explore the needed systems' transformations. This requires a clear definition of the "target space." The 169 targets and 232 indicators used for monitoring SDG implementation cannot be used for this; they are too many, too broad, unstructured, and sometimes not formulated quantitatively. Here, we propose a streamlined set of science-based indicators and associated target values that are quantifiable and actionable to make scenario analysis meaningful, relevant, and simple enough to be transparent and communicable. The 36 targets are based on the SDGs, existing multilateral agreements, literature, and expert assessment. They include 2050 as a longer-term reference point. This target space can guide researchers in developing new sustainable development pathways.

Keywords
sustainable development goals, scenario analysis, indicators
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-203511 (URN)10.1016/j.oneear.2022.01.003 (DOI)000760444900008 ()2-s2.0-85124597189 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-04-04 Created: 2022-04-04 Last updated: 2022-04-04Bibliographically approved
Armstrong McKay, D. I., Staal, A., Abrams, J. F., Winkelmann, R., Sakschewski, B., Loriani, S., . . . Lenton, T. M. (2022). Exceeding 1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points. Science, 377(6611), Article ID eabn7950.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exceeding 1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points
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2022 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 377, no 6611, article id eabn7950Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate tipping points occur when change in a part of the climate system becomes self-perpetuating beyond a warming threshold, leading to substantial Earth system impacts. Synthesizing paleoclimate, observational, and model-based studies, we provide a revised shortlist of global “core” tipping elements and regional “impact” tipping elements and their temperature thresholds. Current global warming of ~1.1°C above preindustrial temperatures already lies within the lower end of some tipping point uncertainty ranges. Several tipping points may be triggered in the Paris Agreement range of 1.5 to <2°C global warming, with many more likely at the 2 to 3°C of warming expected on current policy trajectories. This strengthens the evidence base for urgent action to mitigate climate change and to develop improved tipping point risk assessment, early warning capability, and adaptation strategies. 

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-211927 (URN)10.1126/science.abn7950 (DOI)000887933400003 ()36074831 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85137602398 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-12-01 Created: 2022-12-01 Last updated: 2022-12-08Bibliographically approved
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