Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.5751/ES-07039-190450
Title (Primary) Synchronized peak-rate years of global resources use
Author Seppelt, R.; Manceur, A.M.; Liu, J.; Fenichel, E.P.; Klotz, S.
Source Titel Ecology and Society
Year 2014
Department CLE; BZF; iDiv
Volume 19
Issue 4
Page From art. 50
Language englisch
Keywords limits to growth; peak-rate year; synchrony
UFZ wide themes RU1
Abstract Many separate studies have estimated the year of peak, or maximum, rate of using an individual resource such as oil. However, no study has estimated the year of peak rate for multiple resources and investigated the relationships among them. We exploit time series on the appropriation of 27 global renewable and nonrenewable resources. We found 21 resources experienced a peak-rate year, and for 20 resources the peak-rate years occurred between 1960-2010, a narrow time window in the long human history. Whereas 4 of 7 nonrenewable resources show no peak-rate year, conversion to cropland and 18 of the 20 renewable resources have passed their peak rate of appropriation. To test the hypothesis that peak-rate years are synchronized, i.e., occur at approximately the same time, we analyzed 20 statistically independent time series of resources, of which 16 presented a peak-rate year centered on 2006 (1989-2008). We discuss potential causal mechanisms including change in demand, innovation and adaptation, interdependent use of resources, physical limitation, and simultaneous scarcity. The synchrony of peak-rate years of multiple resources poses a greater adaptation challenge for society than previously recognized, suggesting the need for a paradigm shift in resource use toward a sustainable path in the Anthropocene.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Seppelt, R., Manceur, A.M., Liu, J., Fenichel, E.P., Klotz, S. (2014):
Synchronized peak-rate years of global resources use
Ecol. Soc. 19 (4), art. 50 10.5751/ES-07039-190450