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September 22 2012

New planetary boundary to measure effects of human activity


A US scientist has proposed that a new planetary boundary be used to analyze the effects of human activities on the planet. He warns that there are definite biophysical limits to growth in human population, economies and consumption, and that limits in some variables might already have been reached.

In a Perspective article in the journal Science, Professor Steven W. Running, Director of the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG) at the University of Montana, proposes that adopting a new planetary boundary—annual net primary production (NPP) of all terrestrial plants—might help researchers to more effectively monitor the effects of humans on climate, land use and biodiversity and their limits.

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