Environment Hub

Climate Change: The Integrity of the Biosphere

“Biodiversity loss” is now called “biosphere integrity”, recognizing the interdependence of species and focusing on the impact of humans on ecosystem functioning.

Carbon dioxide levels, at 395.5 parts per million globally, are at historic highs, while loss of biosphere integrity is resulting in species becoming extinct at a rate more than 100 times faster than previous rates .

Of the nine worldwide processes that support life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, earth system change, and high phosphorus and nitrogen runoff in the oceans due to the use of fertilizers.

The scientists found that the changes of the past 60 years are unprecedented in the previous 10,000 years, a period in which the world has had a relatively stable climate and human civilization has advanced significantly.

Since 1950, the urban population has increased sevenfold, the use of primary energy has increased significantly, while the amount of waste used is now eight times higher. The amount of nitrogen entering the oceans has quadrupled. All these changes are shifting the earth to a “new state” that is becoming less hospitable to human life, researchers have found.