Category Archives: Tipping point

Complex Systems Regime Shift – Readings I

For a Complex Systems point of view. Towards sustainability, it is important to understand the dynamics of socio-ecological systems, as complex adaptive systems. An essential aspect of such complex systems is nonlinearity, leading to historical dependency and multiple possible outcomes … Continue reading

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Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity

Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity … Continue reading

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Living dangerously on borrowed time during slow, unrecognized Regime Shifts

Regime shifts from one ecological state to another are often portrayed as sudden, dramatic, and difficult to reverse. Yet many regime shifts unfold slowly and imperceptibly after a tipping point has been exceeded, especially at regional and global scales. These … Continue reading

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Social Tipping Points and Earth Systems Dynamics

Recently, Early Warning Signals (EWS) have been developed to predict tipping points in Earth Systems. This discussion highlights the potential to apply EWS to human social and economic systems, which may also undergo similar critical transitions. Social tipping points are … Continue reading

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Tipping Points among Social Learners – Tools from varied Disciplines

There is a long and rich tradition in the social sciences of using models of collective behavior in animals as jumping-off points for the study of human behavior, including collective human behavior. Here, we come at the problem in a … Continue reading

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On the Sensitivity of Collective Action to Uncertainty about Climate Tipping Points

Previous research shows that collective action to avoid a catastrophic threshold, such as a climate “tipping point,” is unaffected by uncertainty about the impact of crossing the threshold but that collective action collapses if the location of the threshold is … Continue reading

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Early warning of Climate Tipping Points

A climate ‘tipping point’ occurs when a small change in forcing triggers a strongly nonlinear response in the internal dynamics of part of the climate system, qualitatively changing its future state. Human-induced climate change could push several large-scale ‘tipping elements’ … Continue reading

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Tipping Points

This paper formally defines tipping points as a discontinuity between current and future states of a system and introduces candidate measures of when a system tips based on changes in the probability distribution over future states. We make two categorical … Continue reading

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Early-warning signals for Critical Transitions

Complex dynamical systems, ranging from ecosystems to financial markets and the climate, can have tipping points at which a sudden shift to a contrasting dynamical regime may occur. Although predicting such critical points before they are reached is extremely difficult, … Continue reading

Posted in Complex dynamical systems, Complex system, Critical transition, Early-warning signals, Thresholds, Tipping point, Transition | Tagged , , , , , ,

Anticipating Critical Transitions

Tipping points in complex systems may imply risks of unwanted collapse, but also opportunities for positive change. Our capacity to navigate such risks and opportunities can be boosted by combining emerging insights from two unconnected fields of research. One line … Continue reading

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