Challenging the planetary boundaries II: Assessing the sustainable global population and phosphate supply, using a systems dynamics assessment model

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A systems dynamics model was developed to assess the planetary boundary for P supply in relation to use by human society. It is concluded that present day use rates and poor recycling rates of P are unsustainable at timescales beyond 100+ a. The predictions made suggest that P will become a scarce and expensive material in the future. The study shows clearly that market mechanisms alone will not be able to secure an efficient use before a large part of the resource will have been allowed to dissipate into the natural environment. It is suggested that population size management and effective recycling measures must be planned long term to avoid unpleasant consequences of hunger and necessary corrections imposed on society by mass balance and thermodynamics. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Harald Sverdrup
  • Kristin Vala Ragnarsdottir
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Kemiteknik
Sidor (från-till)S307-S310
TidskriftApplied Geochemistry
Utgåva nummerSuppl.
StatusPublished - 2011
Peer review utfördJa