Past abrupt changes, tipping points and cascading impacts in the Earth system
The geological record shows that abrupt changes in the Earth system can occur on timescales short enough to challenge the capacity of human societies to adapt to environmental pressures.
In many cases, abrupt changes arise from slow changes in one component of the Earth system that eventually pass a critical threshold, or tipping point, after which impacts cascade through coupled climate–ecological–social systems. The chance of detecting abrupt changes and tipping points increases with the length of observations. The geological record provides the only long-term information we have on the conditions and processes that can drive physical, ecological and social systems into new states or organizational structures that may be irreversible within human time frames. Here, we use well-documented abrupt changes of the past 30 kyr to illustrate how their impacts cascade through the Earth system.
We review useful indicators of upcoming abrupt changes, or early warning signals, and provide a perspective on the contributions of palaeoclimate science to the understanding of abrupt changes in the Earth system.
Research news | 2023-05-25
AI could create a perfect storm of climate misinformation
The speed and the way misinformation about climate change and sustainability issues moves around the world is rapidly changing. Now, the Centre presents a new synthesis on AI and climate misinformation in connection to the Nobel Prize Summit 2023, "Truth, Trust and Hope"
Research news | 2023-05-22
Financial actors and academia join forces to build back biodiversity
Today is International Biodiversity Day! This year with the theme “From agreement to action: build back biodiversity”, and for us, that is a good reason to highlight the potential of the finance sector in reviving biodiversity
General news | 2023-05-17
Maria Tengö appointed special professor at Wageningen University
Maria Tengö is the most recently appointed professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre
Research news | 2023-05-16
Grasping food supply risks: how self-sufficient and resilient are nations?
Lack of self-sufficiency and diversity in crop production remain main risks to national food supply, new study finds
Research news | 2023-05-12
The cognition of the commons
The ability to monitor, evaluate and share our own cognitive processes can improve group decisions and enable more sustainable use of common-pool resources
Research news | 2023-05-11
Building back better: Resilience means more than bouncing back
Adapting, transforming and creating new ways of functioning as a society: This is how reshaping a resilient future in the aftermath of a shock should look like, argue researchers