The Planetary Boundary Science Initiative
Advancing Planetary Boundary Science. Image by Globaia.

While Planetary Boundary science has advanced tremendously over the past decades, we still lack a deep understanding of the intricate, yet pivotal connections between many biological and physical functions of the Earth system. This is of grave concern, since the stability of the planet and interactions between its components are the foundation of human civilization. Moreover, as it stands, science only has the resources to assess the planet’s vital signs every 6-8 years, and our imperfect measurement framework has some worrying blind spots.

To address these challenges, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and its partners are launching a major scientific effort to close the knowledge gaps, both in terms of our ability to model how the Earth system evolves under the pressure of human activity, as well as our ability to measure the state of the Earth system with high temporal resolution: The Planetary Boundary Science Initiative (PBScience).

A key output of PBScience will be the annual Planetary Boundary (PB) Health Check, conceived and reviewed by a diverse international scientific and stakeholder community. Employing cutting-edge Earth-system and tipping-point modelling, ambitious whole-Earth monitoring, and exploring artificial-intelligence-based big-data analytics, the Health Check will offer a comprehensive, timely, and unparalleled assessment of the planet's health.

The state of the planet concerns every citizen on Earth. We are partnering closely with the Planetary Guardians -- a collective of activists, business leaders, and former heads of state, who have united to lift the science to a global audience. All of them are committed to leverage their respective platforms to bring Planetary Boundary science, with its whole-Earth view on sustainability and strong appeals for action, to their audiences.

PBScience has begun its work in fall 2023, and we are rapidly expanding our team. Currently we are not advertising for a certain position, but welcome initiative applications. Please send you application (CV, motivation, certificates) to caesar [at] pik-potsdam.de

Project Lead / Coordination:

Levke Caesar

Niklas Kitzmann