You are looking at 1 - 10 of 10 items

  • Author or Editor: Helmut Haberl x
Clear All Modify Search
You do not have access to this content

Marina Fischer-Kowalski and Helmut Haberl

This content is available to you

Edited by Marina Fischer-Kowalski and Helmut Haberl

You do not have access to this content

Marina Fischer-Kowalski and Helmut Haberl

You do not have access to this content

Socioecological Transitions and Global Change

Trajectories of Social Metabolism and Land Use

Edited by Marina Fischer-Kowalski and Helmut Haberl

This significant new book analyses fundamental changes in society-nature interaction: the socioeconomic use of materials, energy and land. The volume presents a number of case studies addressing transitions from an agrarian to an industrial socioecological regime, analysed within the materials and energy flow accounting (MEFA) framework. It is argued that by concentrating on the biophysical dimensions of change in the course of industrialization, social development issues can be explicitly linked to changes in the natural environment.
You do not have access to this content

Helmut Haberl and Karl-Heinz Erb

Land is indispensable for crucial socioeconomic functions, including food and energy supply or infrastructure, as well as for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and many other vital ecosystem services. Even though the global land area is well known, the role of land as a planetary boundary is difficult to grasp. This chapter discusses how a focus on net primary production – for example, the production of biomass by green plants through photosynthesis – can help to better understand possible limitations resulting from the finiteness of productive land. Based on data and modelling related to the human appropriation of net primary production we demonstrate how human societies have managed to raise supply of land-based products by (1) taking more from ecosystems and (2) raising efficiency in converting plant growth into products and services. The chapter concludes that planetary boundaries related to the net primary production may be expanded by investing more work, energy, or human ingenuity, but doing so is not without limitations and usually involves trade-offs and costs such as higher environmental impacts that may increase the risk of transgressing other boundaries such as those of nitrogen, phosphorous, water or biodiversity.

You do not have access to this content

Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Helmut Haberl and Fridolin Krausmann

You do not have access to this content

Helmut Haberl, Karl-Heinz Erb, Fridolin Krausmann and Maria Niedertscheider

Flows of energy between natural and social systems are a pivotal component of human-environment interactions. Based on a short literature review focusing on geography and social ecology, the authors discuss the potential of energy analysis to better understand transitions between different ideal-typical modes of society-nature interaction such as hunter-gatherers, agrarian societies and industrial society. Fundamental changes in energy systems characterize these socio-metabolic regimes: the ‘uncontrolled solar energy system’ of hunter-gatherers is based on the extraction of biomass energy from largely natural landscapes. Within the ‘controlled solar energy system’ of agrarian societies the overwhelming majority of society’s energy supply is derived from managed ecosystems, that is, agro-ecosystems and forestry. Industrial society is based overwhelmingly on fossil energy. Energy systems are related to the specific sustainability problems faced by each of these socio-metabolic regimes. The chapter presents an empirical reconstruction of the changes in global energy flows associated with the ongoing transition from agrarian to industrial societies.