Find the EGU on

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Find us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn Find us on YouTube


Planetary boundaries, societal interactions, and sustainability transitions within the Earth system (co-organized)
Convener: Dominik E. Reusser  | Co-Conveners: Diego Rybski , António Ferreira , Axel Kleidon , Timothy Lenton  , Jonathan Donges , Jobst Heitzig 
 / Wed, 30 Apr, 08:30–10:00
 / Attendance Wed, 30 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Human actions play an increasing role in shaping the Earth's planetary environment, from the physical climate system to biogeochemical cycles to the functioning of the land surface. Induced changes are in turn affecting the socio-economic performance and human well-being around the planet. To understand and predict the future co-evolution of the Earth system and human actions, it is thus critical to understand the planetary boundaries of the human playing field, the socioeconomic dynamics and their interactions with climate, and the consequences for the planetary system. New solutions are needed to prevent, overcome or mitigate the turmoil processes caused by global change, resources exhaustion, and the procession of induced socio-economic impacts, calling for a transition. There is a range of urgent questions related to this topic, from the definition of planetary boundaries, the safe operating space for humanity, thresholds and critical transitions in the global socio-environmental system, the identification of sustainable pathways for future development, and the description of the fully coupled co-evolutionary dynamics of human societies and the natural Earth system.

In this session, we seek novel and innovative approaches that deal with humans in the Earth system, their dynamics, interactions, and boundaries. Answers can not be created by purely disciplinary approaches and reflections on the role of geosciences and other fields to address this topic are welcome. Contributions can include novel conceptual approaches, estimates of planetary boundaries of energy, food, climate, water and of other geochemical cycles, characterisation of human well-being, models of societal dynamics and transitions, studies on society-climate interactions and studies on climatic impacts of human activity. A focus is also on the core variables and indicators that help to understand the relevant transition to more sustainability.