A resilient planet – what does it mean?

Here’s your guide to environmental buzzwords and their meaning.

It’s not always easy to keep up with expressions and concepts when speaking of climate change and the environment. Therefore, we’re presenting a new buzzword each week with the aim of simplifying scientist talk. We’ve written about the Anthropocene as the new geological epoch and the importance of biodiversity. The topic of this article is resilience. Not related to humans, but the earth system.

While the dictionary defines resilience as  «The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness», it’s somewhat more complex in the case of ecosystems.

To put it short, resilience is the amount of disturbance and change a system can undergo, and still remain within the same state. It’s also related to the ability and capacity of the system to learn and adapt to these disturbances. Biodiversity plays a crucial role in this, being that numerous species works as an insurance by spreading the risks. Your lawn is a good example. If you plant only one species of grass, your lawn is very vulnerable, meaning that a disease could wipe out the entire thing. If you plant four species of grass, it’s much more resilient to withstand potential disturbances. So when we speak of resilience, you could say that we’re kind of talking about the immune system of the planet.

Climate change is amongst one of many things to threaten the resilience of our ecosystems. Become climate positive and pick your plan at www.chooose.today.

Want to learn more? Sustainability expert and professor at Stockholm Resilience Centre proposes six universal goals in the video on resilience below: