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Coupled human and natural worlds

Humans have always interacted with their biophysical environment. However, the increase of the world population and the industrial revolution have led to a human-dominated planet. In the Anthropocene almost half of the land surface has been changed by humans, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased with 30%, and artificial toxins are found at the most remote places in the world. The role of feedbacks in so-called coupled human-natural systems is increasing and impacts are no longer local but global. Increasing the understanding of coupled human-natural systems at local and global scales, their feedbacks, thresholds, and nonlinearities, is of utmost importance to cope with the grand challenges humankind is facing.