Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 425050
Title The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship
Author(s) Steffen, W.; Persson, A.; Deutsch, L.; Zalasiewicz, J.; Williams, M.; Richardson, K.; Crumley, C.; Crutzen, P.; Folke, C.; Gordon, L.; Molina, M.; Ramanathan, V.; Rockstrom, J.; Scheffer, M.; Schellnhuber, H.J.; Svedin, U.
Source Ambio 40 (2011)7. - ISSN 0044-7447 - p. 739 - 761.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-011-0185-x
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) safe operating space - climate system - sustainability - ecosystems - services - humanity - history - carbon - world
Abstract Over the past century, the total material wealth of humanity has been enhanced. However, in the twenty-first century, we face scarcity in critical resources, the degradation of ecosystem services, and the erosion of the planet's capability to absorb our wastes. Equity issues remain stubbornly difficult to solve. This situation is novel in its speed, its global scale and its threat to the resilience of the Earth System. The advent of the Anthropence, the time interval in which human activities now rival global geophysical processes, suggests that we need to fundamentally alter our relationship with the planet we inhabit. Many approaches could be adopted, ranging from geo-engineering solutions that purposefully manipulate parts of the Earth System to becoming active stewards of our own life support system. The Anthropocene is a reminder that the Holocene, during which complex human societies have developed, has been a stable, accommodating environment and is the only state of the Earth System that we know for sure can support contemporary society. The need to achieve effective planetary stewardship is urgent. As we go further into the Anthropocene, we risk driving the Earth System onto a trajectory toward more hostile states from which we cannot easily return.
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