Steven Running is a Regents Professor of Global Ecology at the University of Montana, Missoula. He is the Land Team Leader for the NASA Earth Observing System Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. He was a co-Lead Chapter Author for the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, and was a chapter Lead Author for the 4th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He currently chairs the NASA Earth Science Subcommittee. Steven is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and in 2014 was designated one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” in Geosciences.

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The global scientific community first began to consider, in earnest, the Earth’s capacity to sustain humanity in the classic 1972 study Limits to Growth.1 The primitive model put forward by Meadows and colleagues used the best projected population and economic growth trajectories of the time to produce a model showing that, by the early …

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