Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists – Oliver Milman Thursday 15 January 2015 14.00 EST

Just Sayin'

Humans are ‘eating away at our own life support systems’ at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years, two new research papers say

The view from the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory in the middle of the Amazon forest. Researcher say that of the nine processes needed to sustain life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels. Photograph: Reuters

Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found.

Two major new studies by an international team of researchers have pinpointed the key factors that ensure a livable planet for humans, with stark results.

Of nine worldwide processes that underpin life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system…

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