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Planetary Boundaries scientific goals

  • Describe environmental change over decadal to millennial timescales using long-term data from palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology, and archaeology studies, documentary sources, repeat photographs and remote sensing techniques.
  • Align these descriptions with parameters identified in the Planetary Boundaries Literature. We will define target ranges of variability based on pre-Anthropocene (“Holocene”-like) conditions.
  • Curate available data on selected case studies and archive on publicly accessible databases.
  • Analyse data for evidence of tipping points.
  • Model transitions based on interactions between key drivers (e.g., climate, fire, herbivory, changes in nutrients, pollution, water quality). 
  • Use these models to explore future scenarios and pathways of change, identifying leverage points that could guide earth systems to sustainable trajectories.

The combination of these methodologies allows for a much-needed temporal continuum from scales of millennia to months, contributing to a better understanding of landscape change and variability that can inform the exploration of safe operating spaces. In addition, the combination of cross disciplinary approaches allows for a better understand of the effects of past and present management (positive and negative) and the range of interventions possible for landscape management today and in the future.