The planetary boundary framework presents a “planetary dashboard” of humanity’s performance on a set of environmental issues that endanger the Earth system’s capacity to support it. While this framework has been highly influential, in its current form it does not represent how impacts related to one planetary boundary affect the status of other planetary boundaries.

This article presents a provisional quantification of interactions between the Earth system processes represented by the planetary boundaries and an investigation of their consequences for sustainability governance.

The authors identify a dense network of interactions between the planetary boundaries. The resulting cascades and feedbacks mostly serve to amplify human impacts on the Earth system and thereby shrink the safe operating space for future human impacts.