Celsius-Lecture: A safe and just future for humanity on Earth
- Date: –12:00
- Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1
- Lecturer: Johan Rockström, Professor Earth System Science, University of Potsdam and Director Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
- Organiser: Faculty of Science and Technology
- Contact person: Karin Thellenberg
- Phone: 018-471 49 47
This lecture is part of the 2023 Celsius-Linnaeus lectures. The Celsius-Lecture is given by Professor Johan Rockström, University of Potsdam. The Linneaus-lecture is followed by lectures given by Professor Emily Boyd, Lund University and Associate Professor Claudia Teutschbein, Uppsala University. The session ends with a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Giuliano Di Baldassarre, UU.
09.15: CELSIUS-LECTURER JOHAN ROCKSTRÖM
A safe and just future for humanity on Earth
Johan Rockström, Professor Earth System Science, University of Potsdam and Director Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
10.30: Pivoting between loss and hope in governing a just future for humanity
Emily Boyd, Director of Lund University Centre for Sustainable Studies and Professor in Sustainability Science and Lund University.
11.00: Water in an interconnected world: A key enabler to reach energy and food security?
Claudia Teutschbein, Associate Professor in Hydrology, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
11.30: Panel discussion
Professor Johan Rockström, Professor Emily Boyd and Associate Professor Claudia Teutschbein.
Moderator: Professor Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Department of Earth Science, Uppsala University.
Abstract: A safe and just future for humanity on Earth
Science is today clear, we are facing multiple and interacting global environmental changes that together threaten the stability of the Earth system, and thereby the basis for world development. Six of nine planetary boundaries are today transgressed, providing ample evidence of a coupled global biosphere and climate crisis. The consequences are not only felt as rising frequency and amplitude of extreme events, causing massive social and economic loss and damage. We are rapidly approaching biophysical tipping points which, if crossed, will cause irreversible and self-amplifying impacts. Two key conclusions arise from the latest Earth system science with regards to climate safety. First, that 1.5°C is not a goal or target, it is a biophysical limit. Cross it, and we are likely to trigger multiple tipping points in the Earth system. Second, there is no safe landing for humanity, with regards to a manageable climate, unless we also bend the curves and return back to a safe operating space within Planetary boundaries, for land, water, biogeochemical flows and biodiversity. The Earth system, in a healthy state, has a remarkably high resilience, but we are seeing ample signs of cracks in the buffering capacity of the biosphere, and need to urgently act on all planetary boundary transgressions. This calls for setting scientific targets for a safe operating space on Earth, to keep the Earth system in a Holocene-like inter-glacial state. The talk also summarizes the multiple crisis we are facing – the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity, the coronavirus pandemic, the energy crisis etc. A first attempt, based on the work of the Earth Commission, on defining safe and just Earth system boundaries is presented, as well as the "Earth for All" scenario analyses of pathways towards attaining the SDGs within Planetary Boundaries.