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Selection: with tag tipping-point [46 articles] 

 

Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, No. 38. (20 September 2011), pp. 15887-15891, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1110245108

Abstract

We describe the “landscape trap” concept, whereby entire landscapes are shifted into, and then maintained (trapped) in, a highly compromised structural and functional state as the result of multiple temporal and spatial feedbacks between human and natural disturbance regimes. The landscape trap concept builds on ideas like stable alternative states and other relevant concepts, but it substantively expands the conceptual thinking in a number of unique ways. In this paper, we (i) review the literature to develop the concept of landscape ...

 

When the appeal of a dominant leader is greater than a prestige leader

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 26. (27 June 2017), pp. 6734-6739, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1617711114

Abstract

[Significance] We examine why dominant/authoritarian leaders attract support despite the presence of other admired/respected candidates. Although evolutionary psychology supports both dominance and prestige as viable routes for attaining influential leadership positions, extant research lacks theoretical clarity explaining when and why dominant leaders are preferred. Across three large-scale studies we provide robust evidence showing how economic uncertainty affects individuals’ psychological feelings of lack of personal control, resulting in a greater preference for dominant leaders. This research offers important theoretical explanations for why, around ...

 

Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems

  
Nature, Vol. 449, No. 7159. (13 September 2007), pp. 213-217, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06111

Abstract

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, ...

 

Forest resilience and tipping points at different spatio-temporal scales: approaches and challenges

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 103, No. 1. (January 2015), pp. 5-15, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12337

Abstract

[::] Anthropogenic global change compromises forest resilience, with profound impacts to ecosystem functions and services. This synthesis paper reflects on the current understanding of forest resilience and potential tipping points under environmental change and explores challenges to assessing responses using experiments, observations and models. [::] Forests are changing over a wide range of spatio-temporal scales, but it is often unclear whether these changes reduce resilience or represent a tipping point. Tipping points may arise from interactions across scales, as processes such as ...

 

Sequential disturbance effects of hailstorm and fire on vegetation in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem

  
Ecosystems, Vol. 18, No. 7. (2015), pp. 1121-1134, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-015-9886-5

Abstract

Frequency and intensity of disturbance is projected to increase for many ecosystems globally, with uncertain consequences, particularly when disturbances occur in rapid succession. We quantified community response (52 shrub species and the tree Eucalyptus todtiana) to a severe hailstorm followed 2 months later by prescribed fire for a Mediterranean-type shrubland in southwestern Australia. Partial overlap of hailstorm path and fire perimeter provided a unique opportunity to compare storm and fire effects along a storm severity gradient (high–moderate–none) with and without fire. ...

 

Passing the point of no return

  
Science, Vol. 354, No. 6316. (02 December 2016), pp. 1109-1109, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal2188

Abstract

[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 ...

 

Risk of multiple interacting tipping points should encourage rapid CO2 emission reduction

  
Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, No. 5. (21 March 2016), pp. 520-525, https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2964

Abstract

Evidence suggests that several elements of the climate system could be tipped into a different state by global warming, causing irreversible economic damages. To address their policy implications, we incorporated five interacting climate tipping points into a stochastic-dynamic integrated assessment model, calibrating their likelihoods and interactions on results from an existing expert elicitation. Here we show that combining realistic assumptions about policymakers’ preferences under uncertainty, with the prospect of multiple future interacting climate tipping points, increases the present social cost of ...

 

A horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2016

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 31, No. 1. (January 2016), pp. 44-53, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.11.007

Abstract

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 ...

 

Bistability, spatial interaction, and the distribution of tropical forests and savannas

  
Ecosystems (2016), pp. 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-016-0011-1

Abstract

Recent work has indicated that tropical forest and savanna can be alternative stable states under a range of climatic conditions. However, dynamical systems theory suggests that in case of strong spatial interactions between patches of forest and savanna, a boundary between both states is only possible at conditions in which forest and savanna are equally stable, called the ‘Maxwell point.’ Frequency distributions of MODIS tree-cover data at 250 m resolution were used to estimate such Maxwell points with respect to the ...

 

Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

  
Science, Vol. 353, No. 6296. (14 July 2016), pp. 288-291, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf2201

Abstract

[Crossing “safe” limits for biodiversity loss] The planetary boundaries framework attempts to set limits for biodiversity loss within which ecological function is relatively unaffected. Newbold et al. present a quantitative global analysis of the extent to which the proposed planetary boundary has been crossed (see the Perspective by Oliver). Using over 2 million records for nearly 40,000 terrestrial species, they modeled the response of biodiversity to land use and related pressures and then estimated, at a spatial resolution of ∼1 km2, the ...

 

(INRMM-MiD internal record) List of keywords of the INRMM meta-information database - part 36

  
(February 2014)
Keywords: inrmm-list-of-tags   thaumetopoea-processionea   thaumetopoea-pytiocampa   thecodiplosis-japonensis   theobroma-cacao   theoretical-approach   theory-driven-bias   theory-vs-actual-implemetation   thermal-requirements   thermodynamics   thermophilous-forest   thermophilous-plants   thespesia-populnea   thinning   thomson-reuters   threat   threatened-species   three-gorges-dam   thresholds   thrinax-radiata   thuja-occidentalis   thuja-plicata   thuja-spp   tibet   tilia-americana   tilia-amurensis   tilia-argentea   tilia-cordata   tilia-dasystyla   tilia-platyphyllos   tilia-spp   tilia-tomentosa   tilio-acerion   tillage   timber-harvesting   timber-quality   timber-uses   timber-value   time-lags   time-series   tipovers   tipping-point   todo-replace-book-abstract-with-chapter-abstract   tolerance   tomicobia-seitneri   tomicus-spp   tool-driven   toona-ciliata   top-down   topographic-position-index   topographic-wetness-index   topography   topology   topsoil-grain-size   torcello   tornado   torreya-californica   torreya-spp   torreya-taxifolia   tortrix-viridana   tourism   toxicity   trade-offs   trade-regulations   traditional-remedy   training-course   trait-based-approach   transboundary-effects   transdiciplinary-scientific-communication   transdisciplinary-research   transect   transparency   transport-system   treculia-africana   tree-age   tree-breeding   tree-cancer   tree-defoliation   tree-density   tree-diseases   tree-diversity   tree-ecology   tree-fall   tree-fruits   tree-height   tree-limit   tree-line   tree-mortality   tree-rings   tree-sap   tree-seeds   tree-species   tree-virus   treefall   trichiocampus-viminalis   trinidad-island   tropical-areas   tropical-forest   tropical-mountain-forest   tropical-storms  

Abstract

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 ( http://mfkp.org/INRMM/tag/inrmm-list-of-tags ). ...

 

Feedbacks and landscape-level vegetation dynamics

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 30, No. 5. (10 May 2015), pp. 255-260, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.03.005

Abstract

[::] Landscape-level feedbacks are critical for understanding of the risk of rapid switching between ecological states, such as forest and savanna biomes. [::] These feedbacks are difficult to study because the spatial and temporal scales preclude classical experiment approaches. [::] We suggest that identifying and understanding the role of landscape-level feedbacks demands a synthetic approach that blends observational, experimental, model-based approaches, conceptual models, and narratives. [\n] Alternative stable-state theory (ASS) is widely accepted as explaining landscape-level vegetation dynamics, such as switches between forest and ...

 

Environmental tipping points significantly affect the cost−benefit assessment of climate policies

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 15. (14 April 2015), pp. 4606-4611, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1503890112

Abstract

[Significance] Most current cost−benefit analyses of climate change suggest global climate policy should be relatively weak. However, relatively few studies account for the market or nonmarket impacts of passing environmental tipping points that cause abrupt and irreversible damages. We use a stochastic dynamic model of the climate and economy to quantify the effect of tipping points on climate change policy. We show that environmental tipping points can profoundly alter cost−benefit analysis, justifying a much more stringent climate policy, which takes the form ...

 

Eluding catastrophic shifts

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 15. (14 April 2015), pp. E1828-E1836, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1414708112

Abstract

[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, https://doi.org/10.1641/b580607

Abstract

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 ...

 

Creating a safe operating space for iconic ecosystems

  
Science, Vol. 347, No. 6228. (20 March 2015), pp. 1317-1319, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa3769

Abstract

Although some ecosystem responses to climate change are gradual, many ecosystems react in highly nonlinear ways. They show little response until a threshold or tipping point is reached where even a small perturbation may trigger collapse into a state from which recovery is difficult (1). Increasing evidence shows that the critical climate level for such collapse may be altered by conditions that can be managed locally. These synergies between local stressors and climate change provide potential opportunities for proactive management. Although ...

 

Stephen Hawking: 'Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence - but are we taking AI seriously enough?'

  
The Independent, Vol. 2014, No. 05-01. (1 May 2014), 9313474

Abstract

Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks, says a group of leading scientists. [Excerpt] Artificial-intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy! and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. ...

 

Evolutionary tipping points in the capacity to adapt to environmental change

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, No. 1. (06 January 2015), pp. 184-189, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1408589111

Abstract

[Significance] Environmental variation is becoming more frequent and unpredictable as a consequence of climate change, yet we currently lack the tools to evaluate the extent to which organisms may adapt to this phenomenon. Here we develop a model that explores these issues and use it to study how changes in the timescale and predictability of environmental variation may ultimately affect population viability. Our model indicates that, although populations can often cope with fairly large changes in these environmental parameters, on occasion they ...

Visual summary

  • Figure:65%: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/1/184/F2.large.jpg
  • Source: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/1/184/F2.expansion.html
  • Caption: Evolutionary response to environmental variation under different levels of predictability (P) and relative timescale of environmental variation (R). At each parameter combination in A, the 100 mean population reaction norms that evolved at generation 50,000 in different replicate simulations are depicted [...] with environmental cues on the x axis and the resulting insulation phenotypes on the
 

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, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1406326111

Abstract

[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 ...

 

Integrating tipping points into climate impact assessments

  
Climatic Change In Climatic Change, Vol. 117, No. 3. (29 August 2013), pp. 585-597, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-012-0572-8

Abstract

There is currently a huge gulf between natural scientists’ understanding of climate tipping points and economists’ representations of climate catastrophes in integrated assessment models (IAMs). In particular, there are multiple potential tipping points and they are not all low-probability events; at least one has a significant probability of being passed this century under mid-range (2–4 °C) global warming, and they cannot all be ruled out at low (<2 °C) warming. In contrast, the dominant framing of climate catastrophes in IAMs, and in critiques ...

 

Uprooting researchers can drive them out of science

  
Nature, Vol. 510, No. 7505. (18 June 2014), pp. 313-313, https://doi.org/10.1038/510313a

Abstract

Making early-career scientists change institutions frequently is disruptive and — with modern technology — unnecessary, says Russell Garwood. [Excerpt] For some scientists, of course, the opportunity to move around is wonderful. It is perfect for people with wanderlust, who lack personal ties or who thrive in varied surroundings and on ephemeral contracts. However, for many others this migration-centred system is hugely disruptive, and can add to the forces that squeeze talented scientists out of academia and into other careers. The ‘young’ people ...

 

Glaciology: Antarctic area is doomed to melt

  
Nature, Vol. 509, No. 7501. (21 May 2014), pp. 403-403, https://doi.org/10.1038/509403b

Abstract

Several of Antarctica's glaciers have already begun an unstoppable meltdown, two studies suggest. Eric Rignot at the University of California, Irvine, and his colleagues used satellite radar to measure the retreat of five glaciers in West Antarctica and found that there is nothing holding the ice sheets back from catastrophic collapse ...

 

Ice plug prevents irreversible discharge from East Antarctica

  
Nature Clim. Change, Vol. 4, No. 6. (4 June 2014), pp. 451-455, https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2226

Abstract

Changes in ice discharge from Antarctica constitute the largest uncertainty in future sea-level projections, mainly because of the unknown response of its marine basins1. Most of West Antarctica’s marine ice sheet lies on an inland-sloping bed2 and is thereby prone to a marine ice sheet instability3, 4, 5. A similar topographic configuration is found in large parts of East Antarctica, which holds marine ice equivalent to 19 m of global sea-level rise6, that is, more than five times that of West ...

 

Climate impacts in Europe - The JRC PESETA II project

  
edited by J. C. Ciscar

Abstract

The objective of the JRC PESETA II project is to gain insights into the sectoral and regional patterns of climate change impacts in Europe by the end of this century. The study uses a large set of climate model runs and impact categories (ten impacts: agriculture, energy, river floods, droughts, forest fires, transport infrastructure, coasts, tourism, habitat suitability of forest tree species and human health). The project integrates biophysical direct climate impacts into a macroeconomic economic model, which enables the comparison ...

References

  1. Aaheim, A., Amundsen, H., Dokken, T., Wei, T., 2012. Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change in European Economies. Global Environmental Change 22(4), 959-968. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.06.005 .
  2. Alley, R.B., Whillans, I.M., 1991. Changes in the West Antarctic ice sheet. Science 254 (5034), 959–963. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.254.5034.959 .
  3. Anstey, J., Davini, P., Gray, L., Woollings, T., 2012. Multi-model analysis of winter blocking and tropospheric jet variability: The roles of horizontal and vertical resolution. Submitted to J.
 

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, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.343.6173.831

Abstract

[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, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1240411

Abstract

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 ...

 

Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social-ecological systems

  
Ecology and Society, Vol. 9, No. 2. (2004), 5+

Abstract

The concept of resilience has evolved considerably since Holling’s (1973) seminal paper. Different interpretations of what is meant by resilience, however, cause confusion. Resilience of a system needs to be considered in terms of the attributes that govern the system’s dynamics. Three related attributes of social–ecological systems (SESs) determine their future trajectories: resilience, adaptability, and transformability. Resilience (the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, ...

 

The extreme vulnerability of interdependent spatially embedded networks

  
Nat Phys, Vol. 9, No. 10. (25 October 2013), pp. 667-672, https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys2727

Abstract

Recent studies show that in interdependent networks a very small failure in one network may lead to catastrophic consequences. Above a critical fraction of interdependent nodes, even a single node failure can invoke cascading failures that may abruptly fragment the system, whereas below this critical dependency a failure of a few nodes leads only to a small amount of damage to the system. So far, research has focused on interdependent random networks without space limitations. However, many real systems, such as ...

 

Navigating the Anthropocene: improving Earth system governance

  
Science, Vol. 335, No. 6074. (16 March 2012), pp. 1306-1307, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1217255

Abstract

Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth's sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years (1, 2). Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change (3). This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions toward more effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship. ...

 

Game theory: building up cooperation

  
Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, No. 9. (14 July 2013), pp. 782-783, https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1962

Abstract

Can we achieve the ambitious mitigation targets needed to avert dangerous global warming? Research now shows that local sanctioning institutions may succeed where global agreements fall short. ...

 

Does the terrestrial biosphere have planetary tipping points?

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 28, No. 7. (1 July 2013), pp. 396-401, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.01.016

Abstract

Tipping points where systems shift radically and potentially irreversibly into a different state have received considerable attention in ecology. Although there is convincing evidence that human drivers can cause regime shifts at local and regional scales, the increasingly invoked concept of planetary scale tipping points in the terrestrial biosphere remains unconfirmed. By evaluating potential mechanisms and drivers, we conclude that spatial heterogeneity in drivers and responses, and lack of strong continental interconnectivity, probably induce relatively smooth changes at the ...

 

Multiscale regime shifts and planetary boundaries

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 28, No. 7. (1 July 2013), pp. 389-395, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.05.019

Abstract

"The history of life reveals repeated planetary-scale tipping points."The pace of global changes is often slow even after a tipping point is exceeded."The risk of long-term damage to Earth systems that support humanity is increasing."Planetary-scale governance is needed to safeguard humans and ecosystems. Life on Earth has repeatedly displayed abrupt and massive changes in the past, and there is no reason to expect that comparable planetary-scale regime shifts will not continue in the future. Different lines of evidence indicate that regime ...

 

On the origin of planetary-scale tipping points

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 28, No. 7. (1 July 2013), pp. 380-382, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.06.001

Abstract

Tipping points are recognised in many systems, including ecosystems and elements of the climate system. But can the biosphere as a whole tip and, if so, how? Past global tipping points were rare and occurred in the coupled planetary-scale dynamics of the Earth system, not in the local-scale dynamics of its weakly interacting component ecosystems. Yet, evolutionary innovations have triggered past global transformations, suggesting that tipping point theory needs to go beyond bifurcations and networks to include evolution. ...

 

Biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem services

  
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Vol. 1, No. 1. (October 2009), pp. 46-54, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2009.07.006

Abstract

The capacity of ecosystems to deliver essential services to society is already under stress. The additional stresses imposed by climate change in the coming years will require extraordinary adaptation. We need to track the changing status of ecosystems, deepen our understanding of the biological underpinnings for ecosystem service delivery and develop new tools and techniques for maintaining and restoring resilient biological and social systems. We will be building on an ecosystem foundation that has been radically compromised during the past half ...

 

On the hope for biodiversity-friendly tropical landscapes

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 28, No. 8. (8 July 2015), pp. 462-468, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.01.001

Abstract

With the decreasing affordability of protecting large blocks of pristine tropical forests, ecologists have staked their hopes on the management of human-modified landscapes (HMLs) to conserve tropical biodiversity. Here, we examine key forces affecting the dynamics of HMLs, and propose a framework connecting human disturbances, land use, and prospects for both tropical biodiversity and ecosystem services. We question the forest transition as a worldwide source of new secondary forest; the role played by regenerating (secondary) forest for biodiversity conservation, and the ...

 

Climate Change Impacts on the Tree of Life: Changes in Phylogenetic Diversity Illustrated for Acropora Corals

  
Biology, Vol. 1, No. 3. (14 December 2012), pp. 906-932, https://doi.org/10.3390/biology1030906

Abstract

The possible loss of whole branches from the tree of life is a dramatic, but under-studied, biological implication of climate change. The tree of life represents an evolutionary heritage providing both present and future benefits to humanity, often in unanticipated ways. Losses in this evolutionary (evo) life-support system represent losses in “evosystem” services, and are quantified using the phylogenetic diversity (PD) measure. High species-level biodiversity losses may or may not correspond to high PD losses. If climate change impacts are clumped ...

 

Seeking sustainability within complex regional NRM systems

  
In Proceedings of the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute Biennial International Conference, Adelaide 2009 (2009), pp. 1001-1014

Abstract

It is becoming clearer by the day that what we have constructed on this planet is a globally inter-connected set of biophysical and socio-economic systems: the biosphere and the anthroposphere are inextricably intertwined at all scales from the local to the global. The pressing issues for the next fifty years include population growth, resource use and depletion, climate change, habitat and biodiversity loss, food security and the global spread of diseases. Efforts are being made to protect, improve and restore ecosystems, ...

 

Winds of change

  
Science, Vol. 338, No. 6109. (16 November 2012), pp. 879-881, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.338.6109.879

Abstract

Antarctica does not respond to global warming uniformly like a giant ice cube. Changing wind patterns are an unsung force shaping Antarctica's future. Retreating sea ice and stronger winds have caused seawater to mix more deeply, a process that churns sunlight-dependent phytoplankton into the ocean's depths. As a result, phytoplankton biomass has declined by 12% over the past 30 years. Higher on the food chain, that means fewer krill and fish larvae. These creatures are also getting hammered by the loss ...

 

Regime shifts in ecological systems can occur with no warning

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 13, No. 4. (April 2010), pp. 464-472, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01439.x

Abstract

Predicting regime shifts – drastic changes in dynamic behaviour – is a key challenge in ecology and other fields. Here we show that the class of ecological systems that will exhibit leading indicators of regime shifts is limited, and that there is a set of ecological models and, therefore, also likely to be a class of natural systems for which there will be no forewarning of a regime change. We first describe how nonlinearities in combination with environmental variability lead to ...

 

The Anthropocene: from global change to planetary stewardship

  
AMBIO, Vol. 40, No. 7. (12 October 2011), pp. 739-761, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-011-0185-x

Abstract

Over the past century, the total material wealth of humanity has been enhanced. However, in the twenty-first century, we face scarcity in critical resources, the degradation of ecosystem services, and the erosion of the planet’s capability to absorb our wastes. Equity issues remain stubbornly difficult to solve. This situation is novel in its speed, its global scale and its threat to the resilience of the Earth System. The advent of the Anthropence, the time interval in which human activities now rival ...

 

Antichaos and Adaptation

  
Scientific American, Vol. 265, No. 2. (1991), pp. 78-84, https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican0891-78

Abstract

Mathematical discoveries are inviting changes in biologists' thinking about the origins of order in evolution. All living things are highly ordered systems: they have intricate structures that are maintained and even duplicated through a precise ballet of chemical and behavioral activities. Since Darwin, biologists have seen natural selection as virtually the sole source of that order. But Darwin could not have suspected the existence of self-orgardzation, a recently discovered, innate property of some complex systems. It is possible that biological order ...

 

Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 105, No. 6. (12 February 2008), pp. 1786-1793, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0705414105

Abstract

The term “tipping point” commonly refers to a critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system. Here we introduce the term “tipping element” to describe large-scale components of the Earth system that may pass a tipping point. We critically evaluate potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system under anthropogenic forcing, drawing on the pertinent literature and a recent international workshop to compile a short list, and we assess where their tipping ...

 

The thinning of Arctic Sea ice, 1988–2003: have we passed a tipping point?

  
Journal of Climate In Journal of Climate, Vol. 18, No. 22. (1 November 2005), pp. 4879-4894, https://doi.org/10.1175/jcli3587.1

Abstract

Abstract Recent observations of summer Arctic sea ice over the satellite era show that record or near-record lows for the ice extent occurred in the years 2002?05. To determine the physical processes contributing to these changes in the Arctic pack ice, model results from a regional coupled ice?ocean model have been analyzed. Since 1988 the thickness of the simulated basinwide ice thinned by 1.31 m or 43%. The thinning is greatest along the coast in the sector from the Chukchi Sea ...

 

Exploring the likelihood and mechanism of a climate-change-induced dieback of the Amazon rainforest

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, No. 49. (08 February 2009), pp. 20610-20615, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0804619106

Abstract

We examine the evidence for the possibility that 21st-century climate change may cause a large-scale “dieback” or degradation of Amazonian rainforest. We employ a new framework for evaluating the rainfall regime of tropical forests and from this deduce precipitation-based boundaries for current forest viability. We then examine climate simulations by 19 global climate models (GCMs) in this context and find that most tend to underestimate current rainfall. GCMs also vary greatly in their projections of future climate change in Amazonia. We ...

 

Tipping Points in the Tundra

  
Science, Vol. 310, No. 5748. (28 October 2005), pp. 627-628, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1120104

Abstract

Environmental changes in the Arctic may be an early warning system for global climate change, and recent reports from the region are alarming. Several studies have indicated substantial declines in sea ice cover and earlier ice melting, which have led to the lowest level of sea ice in more than a century. And now there is evidence that the warming on the nearby continents may also be accelerating. In his Perspective, Foley discusses results reported in the same issue by ...

 

Approaching a state shift in Earth/'s biosphere

  
Nature, Vol. 486, No. 7401. (7 June 2012), pp. 52-58, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11018

Abstract

Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Here we review evidence that the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence. The plausibility of a planetary-scale tipping point highlights the need to improve biological forecasting by detecting early warning signs of critical transitions on global as well as local scales, ...

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