The degree of breaching of the safe boundary levels is caused by human-driven activities impacting the components, they said.
The planetary boundaries framework applies the newest scientific understanding of the functioning of the Earth system to identify a «safe operating space» for humanity. It proposes limits for the extent to which human activities can be allowed to impact critical processes without risk of potentially triggering irreversible changes in the Earth conditions that support us.
The resaerchers noted that, for the first time, metrics for all boundaries are presented.
Six of the boundaries are found to be transgressed, and transgression is increasing for all boundaries except the degradation of the Earth's ozone layer, they said.
A global focus on climate is not enough. Development of Earth system models that accurately reproduce interactions between boundaries, especially Climate and Biosphere Integrity, is an urgent priority, according to the researchers.
The study, published in the journal Science Advances, represents the third update of the framework carried out by 29 scientists from eight different countries.
The trend of increasing transgression of the boundaries is worrying, explained Katherine Richardson, professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and leader of the study.
«Crossing six boundaries in itself does not necessarily imply a disaster will ensue but it is a clear warning signal.
We can regard it as we do our own blood pressure,» Richardson said.
«A BP over 120/80 is not a guarantee of a heart attack but it increases the risk of one. Therefore, we try to bring it down.