The ecological ceilings

There are nine ecological boundaries defined by the Stockholm Institute. Overshooting these boundaries takes us past a planetary ceiling that creates an unsafe planet for humans.

  • Air Pollution

    Minimising the amount of indoor or outdoor contamination by any chemical, physical or biological agent.

  • Biodiversity loss

    Ensuring an abundance of varities of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world.

  • Chemical pollution

    Managing the level of new substances entering the environment that have the potential for unwanted geophysical and/or biological effects.

  • Climate change

    Maintaining safe and steady concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to prevent changes in global temperatures.

  • Freshwater Withdrawals

    Preventing excessive withdrawals of water which can damage ecosystems and alter the hydrological cycle and climate.

  • Land conversion

    Preventing conversion of a forested area to another use such as agricultural land or urban area.

  • Nitrogen & phosphorus loading

    Managing levels of nitrogen and phosphorus entering water ecosystems.

  • Ocean Acidification

    Preventing oceans from absorbing excessive amounts of carbon dioxide which decreases its pH.

  • Ozone layer depletion

    Maintaining a safe level of ozone molecules in the stratosphere.