Interactions between the planetary boundaries

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The planetary boundary framework collects a set of nine biophysical processes of global concern. ‘Boundaries’ on human interference in these processes were identified, transgression of which could affect the planet’s ability to support human well-being. The planetary boundary framework has been extremely influential in government, international policy, and business. The framework has also been extended to include ‘social foundations’ to complement the ‘biophysical ceilings’.

It is broadly recognised that the planetary boundaries are not independent: for example, that climate change will affect biodiversity, and vice versa. But interactions between the planetary boundaries have not been systematically investigated. This project will investigate interactions between the biophysical and/or social boundaries. There are many possible avenues and methods, for example: critical review of relationship between planetary boundaries and existing interactive frameworks and theories such as the nexus approaches; expert elicitation of interactions; mathematical modelling of interactions between a subset of boundaries; or other quantitative assessment of interaction strength.

For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.

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