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Earth's health reaching critical tipping point, expert says

Date:
March 24, 2010
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Scientists make the case for why we need to pay more attention to all environmental processes that contribute to the Earth's health.

Jon Foley is the director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Minnesota

With climate change at the front and center of today's political debates, the other indicators of the Earth's environmental health are not always top of mind in the public conscience.

Featured as part of the cover story of Scientific American magazine's April issue, University of Minnesota professor Jon Foley makes the case for why we need to pay more attention to all environmental processes that contribute to the Earth's health.

In his article, "Boundaries for a Healthy Planet," he argues that while climate change gets ample attention, species loss and nitrogen pollution exceed safe limits by greater degrees. In addition, other environmental processes such as ocean acidification and stratospheric ozone depletion are also moving toward dangerous thresholds.

Foley calls for swift action to address these developments and push back from planetary "tipping points" that would thrust the global environment and human life into dangerous new territory. First steps include promptly switching to low-carbon energy sources, curtailing land clearing and revolutionizing agricultural practices.

Foley is director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment. Originally trained as an atmospheric scientist, he works primarily on the nexus of land use, agriculture and the global environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Earth's health reaching critical tipping point, expert says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324113543.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2010, March 24). Earth's health reaching critical tipping point, expert says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324113543.htm
University of Minnesota. "Earth's health reaching critical tipping point, expert says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324113543.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

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