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Journal / article
Chrysafi, A., Virkki, V., Jalava, M. et al. 2022. Quantifying Earth system interactions for sustainable food production via expert elicitation. Nature Sustainability. https://doi-org.ezproxy.its.uu.se/10.1038/s41893-022-00940-6
Several safe boundaries of critical Earth system processes have already been crossed due to human perturbations; not accounting for their interactions may further narrow the safe operating space for humanity. Using expert knowledge elicitation, we explored interactions among seven variables representing Earth system processes relevant to food production, identifying many interactions little explored in Earth system literature....
Downing, A., Kumar, M., Andersson, A., Causevic, A., Gustafsson, Ö., Joshi, N., Krishnamurthy, C., Scholtens, B., Crona, B.. 2022. Unlocking the unsustainable rice-wheat system of Indian Punjab: Assessing alternatives to crop-residue burning from a systems perspective. Ecological Economics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107364
Crop residue burning in Indian Punjab emits particulate matter with detrimental impacts on health, climate and that threaten agricultural production. Though legal and technological barriers to residue burning exist – and alternatives considered more profitable to farmers – residue burning continues. We review black carbon (BC) emissions from residue burning in Punjab, analyse social-ecological processes driving residue burnin...
Journal / article
Downing, A., Wong, G.Y., Dyer, M., Aguiar, A. P., Selomane, O., Jimenez Aceituno, A. 2021. When the whole is less than the sum of all parts – Tracking global-level impacts of national sustainability initiatives. Global Environmental Change Volume 69, July 2021, 102306, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102306
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are described as integrated and indivisible, where sustainability challenges must be addressed across sectors and scales to achieve global-level sustainability. However, SDG monitoring mostly focuses on tracking progress at national-levels, for each goal individually. This approach ignores local and cross-border impacts of national policies and assumes that global-level ...
Queiroz, C., Norstrom, A.V., Downing, A., Harmackova, Z.V., De Coning, C., Adams, V., Bakarr, M., Baedeker, T., Chitate, A., Gaffney, O., Gordon, L., Hainzelin, E., Howlett, D., Krampe, F., Loboguerrero, A.M., Nel, D., Okollet, C., Rebermark, M., Rockström, J., Smith, M., Wabbes-Candotti, S. & Matthews, N. 2021. Investment in resilient food systems in the most vulnerable and fragile regions is critical. Nature Food 2(8), 546–551.
Reversing the alarming trend of rising food insecurity requires transformations towards just, sustainable and healthy food systems with an explicit focus on the most vulnerable and fragile regions. Global food insecurity fell for decades, but it is steadily rising again 1 . A primary driver of this alarming trend is the double burden of climate shocks and violent conflict in areas that are already food insecure. The recent ...
Journal / article
Downing, A., S., Chang, M., Kuiper, J.,J., Campenni, M., Häyhä, T., Cornell, S., Svedin, U., Mooji, W. 2020. Learning from generations of sustainability concepts. Environmental Research Letters, Accepted Manuscript
Background: For decades, scientists have attempted to provide a sustainable development framework that integrates goals of environmental protection and human development. The Planetary Boundaries concept (PBc) – a framework to guide sustainable development – juxtaposes a 'safe operating space for humanity' and 'planetary boundaries', to achieve a goal that decades of research have yet to meet. We here investigate if PBc is suf...
Journal / article
Jiménez-Aceituno, A., Peterson, G.D., Norström, A.V., Wong, G.Y., Downing, A.S. 2019. Local lens for SDG implementation: lessons from bottom-up approaches in Africa. Sustainability Science
The Anthropocene presents a set of interlinked sustainability challenges for humanity. The United Nations 2030 Agenda has identified 17 specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a way to confront these challenges. However, local initiatives have long been addressing issues connected to these goals in a myriad of diverse and innovative ways. We present a new approach to assess how local initiatives contribute to achievi...
Koschorreck, M., Downing, A.S., Hejzlar, J., Marcé, R. et.al. 2019. Hidden treasures: Human-made aquatic ecosystems harbour unexplored opportunities. Ambio (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-019-01199-6
Artificial water bodies like ditches, fish ponds, weirs, reservoirs, fish ladders, and irrigation channels are usually constructed and managed to optimize their intended purposes. However, human-made aquatic systems also have unintended consequences on ecosystem services and biogeochemical cycles. Knowledge about their functioning and possible additional ecosystem services is poor, especially compared to natural ecosystems. A...
Downing, A., Bhowmik, A., Collste, D. Cornell, S.E., Donges, J., et.al. 2019. Matching scope, purpose and uses of planetary boundaries science. Environ. Res. Lett. 14 073005. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab22c9
Background : The Planetary Boundaries concept (PBc) has emerged as a key global sustainability concept in international sustainable development arenas. Initially presented as an agenda for global sustainability research, it now shows potential for sustainability governance. We use the fact that it is widely cited in scientific literature (>3500 citations) and an extensively studied concept to analyse how it has been used and...
Jaramillo, F., Desormeaux, A., Hedlund, J., Jawitz, J.W.. Clerici, N., Piemontese, L., et. al. 2019. Priorities and Interactions of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with Focus on Wetlands. Water 2019, 11, 619.
Wetlands are often vital physical and social components of a country’s natural capital, as well as providers of ecosystem services to local and national communities. We performed a network analysis to prioritize Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets for sustainable development in iconic wetlands and wetlandscapes around the world. The analysis was based on the information and perceptions on 45 wetlandscapes worldwide by 4...
Journal / article
Mooij, W.M., van Wijk, D., Beusen, A.H.W., et.al. 2018. Modeling water quality in the Anthropocene: directions for the next-generation aquatic ecosystem models. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability Volume 36, February 2019, Pages 85-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2018.10.012
“Everything changes and nothing stands still” (Heraclitus). Here we review three major improvements to freshwater aquatic ecosystem models — and ecological models in general — as water quality scenario analysis tools towards a sustainable future. To tackle the rapid and deeply connected dynamics characteristic of the Anthropocene, we argue for the inclusion of eco-evolutionary, novel ecosystem and social-ecological dynamics. T...
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