Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 21–50, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-7-21-2016

Special issue: Social dynamics and planetary boundaries in Earth system...

Earth Syst. Dynam., 7, 21–50, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-7-21-2016
Research article
18 Jan 2016
Research article | 18 Jan 2016

Topology of sustainable management of dynamical systems with desirable states: from defining planetary boundaries to safe operating spaces in the Earth system

J. Heitzig et al.

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Short summary
The debate about a safe and just operating space for humanity and the possible pathways towards and within it requires an analysis of the inherent dynamics of the Earth system and of the options for influencing its evolution. We present and illustrate with examples a conceptual framework for performing such an analysis not in a quantitative, optimizing mode, but in a qualitative way that emphasizes the main decision dilemmas that one may face in the sustainable management of the Earth system.
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