A new study has revealed that the humans have exceeded four out of nine boundaries of planets that are important for the so-called “safe operating space.”
According to the researchers, the four planetary boundaries that have gone just beyond the point of no return consisted disrupted biogeochemical cycles like the surplus of phosphorus and nitrogen, , land-system change, loss of biosphere integrity and climate change.
In the research paper, the study researchers wrote, “The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth System.”
As per the study group, the exceeding of four out of the nine safe operating space boundaries clearly suggest that humans are damned by 44 percent and all these took place in the last century due to because of human activities.
Steve Carpenter, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology, said that this should be seem as a wake-up call for the policymakers that humans have been exceeding the limits of the biophysical boundaries that allow the existence of human civilization.
Among the most affected systems is the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle that serves crucial for all life, mainly the production of food and cleaning water.
Elena Bennett, an environmentalist from McGill’s School of the Environment who was also the study co-researcher, said the new information exhibit that the human’s ability to have clean, safe and potable water as well as produce sufficient amounts of food in the future is at greater risk.
Bennett contributed to the current research work on the nitrogen-phosphorus cycle.
The high amount of phosphorus is the most important cause of damaging the algal blooms. Nitrogen and Phosphorus similarly cause dangerous effects on the quality of water.
“We will see more lakes closed and hence, we will have to pay more to clean our water. We will face temporary situations where our water is not cleanable or drinkable more and more frequently. That’s what it means to have crossed this planetary boundary. It’s not a good thing for any of us,” Bennett said.
The new study was published in the journal Science on January 15.