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Selection: with tag system-catastrophe [21 articles] 


Well below 2 °C: mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 39. (26 September 2017), pp. 10315-10323,


The historic Paris Agreement calls for limiting global temperature rise to “well below 2 °C.” Because of uncertainties in emission scenarios, climate, and carbon cycle feedback, we interpret the Paris Agreement in terms of three climate risk categories and bring in considerations of low-probability (5%) high-impact (LPHI) warming in addition to the central (∼50% probability) value. The current risk category of dangerous warming is extended to more categories, which are defined by us here as follows: >1.5 °C as dangerous; >3 ...


Overcoming catastrophic forgetting in neural networks

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 13. (28 March 2017), pp. 3521-3526,


[Significance] Deep neural networks are currently the most successful machine-learning technique for solving a variety of tasks, including language translation, image classification, and image generation. One weakness of such models is that, unlike humans, they are unable to learn multiple tasks sequentially. In this work we propose a practical solution to train such models sequentially by protecting the weights important for previous tasks. This approach, inspired by synaptic consolidation in neuroscience, enables state of the art results on multiple reinforcement learning problems ...


Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems

Nature, Vol. 449, No. 7159. (13 September 2007), pp. 213-217,


Humans and climate affect ecosystems and their services1, which may involve continuous and discontinuous transitions from one stable state to another2. Discontinuous transitions are abrupt, irreversible and among the most catastrophic changes of ecosystems identified1. For terrestrial ecosystems, it has been hypothesized that vegetation patchiness could be used as a signature of imminent transitions3, 4. Here, we analyse how vegetation patchiness changes in arid ecosystems with different grazing pressures, using both field data and a modelling approach. In the modelling approach, ...


Resilience as a universal criterion of health

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 95, No. 3. (1 February 2015), pp. 455-465,


To promote and maintain health in agricultural and food systems, appropriate criteria are needed for the description and assessment of the health of soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems. Here we identify the concept of resilience as a universally applicable and fundamentally important criterion of health in all relevant areas of agriculture. We discuss definitions of resilience for soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems, and explore ways in which resilience can be applied as a criterion of health in different agricultural ...


Passing the point of no return

Science, Vol. 354, No. 6316. (02 December 2016), pp. 1109-1109,


[Excerpt] In the field of ecology, regime shifts are massive changes in function and character that occur when an ecosystem passes a tipping point. Regime shifts sometimes have severe consequences for human well-being through losses of ecosystem services, including desertification in arid regions and marine fisheries collapses. These changes are difficult to predict and sometimes impossible to reverse. For these reasons, understanding how to anticipate and prevent regime shifts is one of the most important challenges faced by environmental scientists. [\n] Theoretical analyses ...


System crash as dynamics of complex networks

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 42. (18 October 2016), pp. 11726-11731,


[Significance] System crash, as an essential part of system evolution, sometimes happens in peculiar manners: Weakened systems may survive for a surprisingly long time before suddenly meeting their final ends, whereas seemingly unbeatable giants may drastically crash to virtual nonexistence. We propose a model that describes system crash as a consequence of some relatively simple local information-based individual behaviors: Individuals leave networks according to some most straightforward assessment of current and future benefits/risks. Of note, such a simple rule may enable a ...


A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2016

Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 31, No. 1. (January 2016), pp. 44-53,


This paper presents the results of our seventh annual horizon scan, in which we aimed to identify issues that could have substantial effects on global biological diversity in the future, but are not currently widely well known or understood within the conservation community. Fifteen issues were identified by a team that included researchers, practitioners, professional horizon scanners, and journalists. The topics include use of managed bees as transporters of biological control agents, artificial superintelligence, electric pulse trawling, testosterone in the aquatic ...


(INRMM-MiD internal record) List of keywords of the INRMM meta-information database - part 35

(February 2014)
Keywords: inrmm-list-of-tags   supply-chain   support-vector-machines   supporting-services   surface-roughness   surprise   survey   survival   susceptibility   sustainability   sustainable-development   sustainable-forest   sustainable-forest-management   sustainable-forestry   sweden   swietenia-macrophylla   swiss   switzerland   syagrus-romanzoffiana   sycamore   symbiosis   symphoricarpos-albus   symphoricarpos-spp   symphytum-tauricum   symptoms   synergy   synonyms   syntax-vs-semantics   syntaxonomy   system   system-catastrophe   system-dynamics   system-engineering   system-of-systems   system-theory   systematics   syzygium-aromaticum   syzygium-cumini   tabebuia-chrysantha   tabebuia-heterophylla   tamarindus-indica   tamarix-canariensis   tamarix-chinensis   tamarix-kotschyi   tamarix-mascatensis   tamarix-nilotica   tamarix-octandra   tamarix-parviflora   tamarix-ramosissima   tamarix-spp   tamarix-tetragyna   tamarix-tetrandra   taper-curve   taphrorychus-bicolor   tasmania   taxa   taxine   taxodium-distichum   taxodium-mucronatum   taxodium-spp   taxol   taxon-specific-parameters   taxonomy   taxus-baccata   taxus-brevifolia   taxus-spp   team-diversity   technocracy   technology   technology-mediated-communication   tecoma-stans   tectona-grandis   tectonic   temperate-climate   temperate-continental-forest   temperate-europe   temperate-forest   temperate-mountain-system   temperate-trees   temperature   temperature-change   temperature-range   tensile-root-strength   terminalia-catappa   terminalia-superba   terminology   terpenes   terra-modis   terrain-ruggedness-index   terrestrial-earth-surface   terrestrial-lidar   terseness   tertiary   tetraclinis-articulata   tetraclinis-salicornioides   tetropium-castaneum   text-editors   thailand   thanasimus-formicarius   thaumetopoea-pityocampa  


List of indexed keywords within the transdisciplinary set of domains which relate to the Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management (INRMM). In particular, the list of keywords maps the semantic tags in the INRMM Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD). [\n] The INRMM-MiD records providing this list are accessible by the special tag: inrmm-list-of-tags ( ). ...


Altered river morphology in South Africa related to the Permian-Triassic extinction

Science, Vol. 289, No. 5485. (2000), pp. 1740-1743,


The Permian-Triassic transition in the Karoo Basin of South Africa was characterized by a rapid and apparently basin-wide change from meandering to braided river systems, as evidenced by preserved sedimentary facies. This radical changeover in river morphology is consistent with geomorphic consequences stemming from a rapid and major die-off of rooted plant life in the basin. Evidence from correlative nonmarine strata elsewhere in the world containing fluvial Permian-Triassic boundary sections suggests that a catastrophic terrestrial die-off of vegetation was a global ...


Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems

Science, Vol. 293, No. 5530. (2001), pp. 629-637,


Ecological extinction caused by overfishing precedes all other pervasive human disturbance to coastal ecosystems, including pollution, degradation of water quality, and anthropogenic climate change. Historical abundances of large consumer species were fantastically large in comparison with recent observations. Paleoecological, archaeological, and historical data show that time lags of decades to centuries occurred between the onset of overfishing and consequent changes in ecological communities, because unfished species of similar trophic level assumed the ecological roles of overfished species until they too were ...


Self-organized patchiness and catastrophic shifts in ecosystems

Science, Vol. 305, No. 5692. (2004), pp. 1926-1929,


Unexpected sudden catastrophic shifts may occur in ecosystems, with concomitant losses or gains of ecological and economic resources. Such shifts have been theoretically attributed to positive feedback and bistability of ecosystem states. However, verifications and predictive power with respect to catastrophic responses to a changing environment are lacking for spatially extensive ecosystems. This situation impedes management and recovery strategies for such ecosystems. Here, we review recent studies on various ecosystems that link self-organized patchiness to catastrophic shifts between ecosystem states. ...


Forest health and global change

Science, Vol. 349, No. 6250. (21 August 2015), pp. 814-818,


Humans rely on healthy forests to supply energy, building materials, and food and to provide services such as storing carbon, hosting biodiversity, and regulating climate. Defining forest health integrates utilitarian and ecosystem measures of forest condition and function, implemented across a range of spatial scales. Although native forests are adapted to some level of disturbance, all forests now face novel stresses in the form of climate change, air pollution, and invasive pests. Detecting how intensification of these stresses will affect the ...


Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Science Advances, Vol. 1, No. 5. (19 10:51:26 June 2015),


The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing in the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions ...


Eluding catastrophic shifts

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 15. (14 April 2015), pp. E1828-E1836,


[Significance] Catastrophic shifts such as desertification processes, massive extinctions, or stock market collapses are ubiquitous threats in nature and society. In these events, there is a shift from one steady state to a radically different one, from which recovery is exceedingly difficult. Thus, there is a huge interest in predicting and eventually preventing catastrophic shifts. Here we explore the influence of key mechanisms such as demographic fluctuations, heterogeneity, and diffusion, which appear generically in real circumstances. The mechanisms we study could ideally ...


Cross-scale Drivers of Natural Disturbances Prone to Anthropogenic Amplification: The Dynamics of Bark Beetle Eruptions

BioScience, Vol. 58, No. 6. (01 June 2008), pp. 501-517,


Biome-scale disturbances by eruptive herbivores provide valuable insights into species interactions, ecosystem function, and impacts of global change. We present a conceptual framework using one system as a model, emphasizing interactions across levels of biological hierarchy and spatiotemporal scales. Bark beetles are major natural disturbance agents in western North American forests. However, recent bark beetle population eruptions have exceeded the frequencies, impacts, and ranges documented during the previous 125 years. Extensive host abundance and susceptibility, concentrated beetle density, favorable weather, optimal ...


Oak (Quercus robur L.) regeneration as a response to natural dynamics of stands in European hemiboreal zone

European Journal of Forest Research In European Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 130, No. 5. (10 February 2011), pp. 785-797,


The oak (Quercus robur L.) regeneration intensity was assessed in the core area of the Białowieża National Park (BNP) in Poland with respect to the selected ecological factors. The emphasis was placed on the response of oak regeneration to disturbances, including the large-scale dieback of spruce stands. Defining their effect could help predicting the role of oak in naturally developing lowland forest ecosystems in the European hemiboreal zone. The results of the study challenge the opinion that the ‘lime-oak-hornbeam forest’ is ...


Critical slowing down as early warning for the onset of collapse in mutualistic communities

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, No. 49. (09 December 2014), pp. 17546-17551,


[Significance] Little is known on whether structurally diverse ecological networks may respond abruptly to anthropogenic stress and even less on our ability to detect such responses in advance. By simulating mutualistic communities en route to a tipping point, we show how critical slowing-down indicators may be used as early warnings for the collapse of ecological networks. Our findings not only confirm the existence of the generic dynamical signatures of tipping points in ecological networks but also suggest a promising way for identifying ...


Managing the risks of organizational accidents



This is a practical book aimed at those whose daily task it is to think about and manage or regulate the risks of hazardous technologies. The book is not targeted at any one domain, but attempts to identify general tools and principles that are applicable to all organizations facing dangers of one sort or another. This could include banks and building societies just as much as nuclear power plants, oil exploration and production, chemical process plants, and air, sea and rail ...


Contrasting views of complexity and their implications for network-centric infrastructures

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions on, Vol. 40, No. 4. (July 2010), pp. 839-852,


There exists a widely recognized need to better understand and manage complex “systems of systems,” ranging from biology, ecology, and medicine to network-centric technologies. This is motivating the search for universal laws of highly evolved systems and driving demand for new mathematics and methods that are consistent, integrative, and predictive. However, the theoretical frameworks available today are not merely fragmented but sometimes contradictory and incompatible. We argue that complexity arises in highly evolved biological and technological systems primarily to provide mechanisms ...


Climate change. Atlantic current can shut down for centuries, disrupting climate.

Science (New York, N.Y.), Vol. 343, No. 6173. (21 February 2014), pp. 831-831,


[excerpt] For decades, climate scientists have cast a worried eye at the grand ocean circulation that draws warm southern waters into the North Atlantic. A shutdown due to global warming—a possibility hinted at by some climate models—would not bury Manhattan under a tsunami of ice, as one Hollywood disaster movie had it. But it would unsettle climate around the North Atlantic and beyond. Now, researchers have hard evidence that the real Atlantic circulation did indeed abruptly slow or perhaps even stop ...


Abrupt Shifts in Horn of Africa Hydroclimate Since the Last Glacial Maximum

Science, Vol. 342, No. 6160. (10 October 2013), pp. 843-846,


The timing and abruptness of the initiation and termination of the Early Holocene African Humid Period are a subject of ongoing debate, with direct consequences for our understanding of abrupt climate change, paleoenvironments, and early human cultural development. Here, we provide proxy evidence from the Horn of Africa region that documents abrupt transitions into and out of the African Humid Period in northeast Africa. Similar and generally synchronous abrupt transitions at other East African sites suggest that rapid shifts in hydroclimate ...

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Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management - Meta-information Database.

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Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD).
This database integrates a dedicated meta-information database in CiteULike (the CiteULike INRMM Group) with the meta-information available in Google Scholar, CrossRef and DataCite. The Altmetric database with Article-Level Metrics is also harvested. Part of the provided semantic content (machine-readable) is made even human-readable thanks to the DCMI Dublin Core viewer. Digital preservation of the meta-information indexed within the INRMM-MiD publication records is implemented thanks to the Internet Archive.
The library of INRMM related pubblications may be quickly accessed with the following links.
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Full-text and abstracts of the publications indexed by the INRMM meta-information database are copyrighted by the respective publishers/authors. They are subject to all applicable copyright protection. The conditions of use of each indexed publication is defined by its copyright owner. Please, be aware that the indexed meta-information entirely relies on voluntary work and constitutes a quite incomplete and not homogeneous work-in-progress.
INRMM-MiD was experimentally established by the Maieutike Research Initiative in 2008 and then improved with the help of several volunteers (with a major technical upgrade in 2011). This new integrated interface is operational since 2014.