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Trends Ecol Evol. 2013 Jul;28(7):380-2. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2013.06.001. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

On the origin of planetary-scale tipping points.

Author information

1
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Hatherly Laboratories, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4PS, UK. t.m.lenton@exeter.ac.uk

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.

PMID:
23777818
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2013.06.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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