Tag Archives: critical transitions

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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Phase Transitions

(Chapters 9, 12, 13, 14 & 16) Ecosystems are complex and adaptive, displaying nontrivial forms of organization in both space and time. An important component of change in ecological systems involves the rapid response of some communities to slow changes … Continue reading

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Critical Transtions in Ecology

In complex systems the degree of homogeneity (vs. Heterogeneity) and connectivity (vs. Modularity) determines whether or not there is a phase transition from one state to another. These are called critical transitions, and there are current efforts to understand both … 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

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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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Understanding Phase Transitions for Social Change

The great challenges of the 21st Century are systemic in nature.  From ecological decline to cybersecurity in a digital age, the patterns of change we must grapple with are profoundly complex.  Change agents will need to understand how change unfolds … Continue reading

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Critical Transitions in Nature and Society

How do we explain the remarkably abrupt changes that sometimes occur in nature and society–and can we predict why and when they happen? This book offers a comprehensive introduction to critical transitions in complex systems–the radical changes that happen at … Continue reading

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