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The Topology of Non-Linear Global Carbon Dynamics: From Tipping Points to Planetary Boundaries

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Anderies, John M.; Carpenter, S. R.; Steffen, Will; Rockstrom, Johan
Date: 2012
Agency: Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Series: CSID Working Paper Series, no. CSID-2012-009
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9005
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Subject(s): land tenure and use--models
carbon sequestration--models
Abstract: "This paper develops a minimal model of land use and carbon cycle dynamics and explores the relationship between nonlinear dynamics and planetary boundaries. Only the most basic interactions between land cover, terrestrial carbon stocks and atmospheric carbon stocks are considered. The goal is not to predict global carbon dynamics as it occurs in the actual earth system, but rather, to construct a conceptually reasonable representation of a feedback system between dierent carbon stores like that of the actual earth system and use it to explore the topology of the boundaries of what can be called a 'safe operating space' for humans. The analysis of the model illustrates the potential complexity of planetary boundaries and highlights some challenges associated with navigating them."

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