Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/whpv1m

Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere

1 April 2021

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an interconnected and tightly coupled globalized world in rapid change. This article sets the scientific stage for understanding and responding to such change for global sustainability and resilient societies. We provide a systemic overview of the current situation where people and nature are dynamically intertwined and embedded in the biosphere, placing shocks and extreme events as part of this dynamic; humanity has become the major force in shaping the future of the Earth system as a whole; and the scale and pace of the human dimension have caused climate change, rapid loss of biodiversity, growing inequalities, and loss of resilience to deal with uncertainty and surprise. Taken together, human actions are challenging the biosphere foundation for a prosperous development of civilizations. The Anthropocene reality—of rising system-wide turbulence—calls for transformative change towards sustainable futures. Emerging technologies, social innovations, broader shifts in cultural repertoires, as well as a diverse portfolio of active stewardship of human actions in support of a resilient biosphere are highlighted as essential parts of such transformations.

Authors

Folke, Carl
External Organizations

Polasky, Stephen
External Organizations

Rockström, Johan
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Galaz, Victor
External Organizations

Westley, Frances
External Organizations

Lamont, Michèle
External Organizations

Scheffer, Marten
External Organizations

Österblom, Henrik
External Organizations

Carpenter, Stephen R.
External Organizations

Chapin, F. Stuart
External Organizations

Seto, Karen C.
External Organizations

Weber, Elke U.
External Organizations

Crona, Beatrice I.
External Organizations

Daily, Gretchen C.
External Organizations

Dasgupta, Partha
External Organizations

Gaffney, Owen
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Gordon, Line J.
External Organizations

Hoff, Holger
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Levin, Simon A.
External Organizations

Lubchenco, Jane
External Organizations

Steffen, Will
External Organizations

Walker, Brian H.
External Organizations

Tags

rd1 - earth system analysis director rockström

Citation
Folke, C., Polasky, S., Rockström, J., Galaz, V., Westley, F., Lamont, M., Scheffer, M., Österblom, H., Carpenter, S. R., Chapin, F. S., Seto, K. C., Weber, E. U., Crona, B. I., Daily, G. C., Dasgupta, P., Gaffney, O., Gordon, L. J., Hoff, H., Levin, S. A., Lubchenco, J., Steffen, W., Walker, B. H. (2021): Our future in the Anthropocene biosphere. - Ambio, 50, 4, 834-869.
Rights Holder
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/