Biospheric Changes are Threat Multipliers

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National Academy of Sciences


A threat multiplier is defined as another agent that impacts a current situation, creating an additional set of problems while also making existing problems worse. Sometimes a seemingly innocent change in the biosphere can cause major alterations and become a threat multiplier. Because the biosphere is a highly interactive system, damage to a single component, like the ocean for example, will produce a ripple effect throughout the entire system. In order for humans to eliminate threat multipliers that could potentially speed up global warming, humans must change their lifestyles and convert their waste into biospheric resources. The quest for economic growth has turned the human economy into a threat multiplier since increasing consumption of resources also leads to increasing production of waste. Economic growth has already damaged and permanently altered the biosphere; consequentially, if _business as usual continues, the biospheric changes will increase threat multipliers.



threat multiplier, global warming, biospheric changes, human economy, economic growth, biospheric life support system