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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2018)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) The 20th century was the age of great acceleration. Population grew by a factor 3.7, material [...] Read more. The 20th century was the age of great acceleration. Population grew by a factor 3.7, material extraction by a factor 8 and combustion of fossil fuels by a factor 12. In response to an increasing evidence for fundamental shifts in the functioning of ecosystems after 1950, Johan Rockström, Will Steffen and 26 scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre have developed a new concept: they proposed boundaries for nine planetary life support systems which humanity must not transgress without risking abrupt changes and potentially catastrophic consequences. After humanity having developed within relatively stable ecosystems for the last ten thousand years, the great acceleration has put these systems under multiple pressure. We have ample evidence for having entered a zone of high risk for climate change, biosphere integrity, land-system change and biochemical cycles. We need reconnecting society to the biosphere. View this paper