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WORLD: A new planetary boundary, that of freshwater, has been crossed

Created in 2009 by scientists specialised in the environment, the concept of planetary boundary defines nine variables that regulate the stability of the planet and which must not be crossed in order to ensure “safe and fair” development for humanity.

The freshwater cycle is the sixth planetary boundary to be crossed.

Divided into two entities: green water (“invisible” water contained in the soil, farm crops, forests, etc.) whose boundary had already been crossed in April 2022; and blue water (the “visible” water in rivers, lakes, etc.) which we can extract and consume, whose boundary has also just been crossed.

“We do not know for how long we can continue to cross these key boundaries before the combined pressure leads to irreversible changes and damage”, declared in a communiqué Johan Rockström, co-author of the study and professor at the Stockholm Resilience Center of Stockholm University.

Two others are threatened: the acidification of the oceans and the presence of aerosols in the atmosphere.

If it is not irreversible, it is urgent to reverse the trend.

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