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Journal Articles Nature Sustainability Year : 2022

Quantifying Earth system interactions for sustainable food production via expert elicitation

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Vili Virkki
Mika Jalava
Johannes Piipponen
Lan Wang-Erlandsson
Laura Scherer
Lauren Andersen
Kate Brauman
Ingo Fetzer
Dieter Gerten
Hadi Jaafar
Martin Jung
Arie Staal
Arne Tobian
Ruud van der Ent
Peter Verburg
Yoshihide Wada
Sam Zipper
Matti Kummu
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Abstract

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. We found that green water and land system change affect other Earth system processes strongly, while land, freshwater and ocean components of biosphere integrity are the most impacted by other Earth system processes, most notably blue water and biogeochemical flows. We also mapped a complex network of mechanisms mediating these interactions and created a future research prioritization scheme based on interaction strengths and existing knowledge gaps. Our study improves the understanding of Earth system interactions, with sustainability implications including improved Earth system modelling and more explicit biophysical limits for future food production.
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Dates and versions

hal-03763821 , version 1 (29-08-2022)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Anna Chrysafi, Vili Virkki, Mika Jalava, Vilma Sandström, Johannes Piipponen, et al.. Quantifying Earth system interactions for sustainable food production via expert elicitation. Nature Sustainability, 2022, ⟨10.1038/s41893-022-00940-6⟩. ⟨hal-03763821⟩
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