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Kohler, J., Wunderling, N., Donges, J., Vollmer, J.. 2021. Complex networks of interacting stochastic tipping elements: Cooperativity of phase separation in the large-system limit. Physical Review E. http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physreve.104.044301
Tipping elements in the Earth system have received increased scientific attention over recent years due to their nonlinear behavior and the risks of abrupt state changes. While being stable over a large range of parameters, a tipping element undergoes a drastic shift in its state upon an additional small parameter change when close to its tipping point. Recently, the focus of research broadened towards emergent behavior in net...
Donges, J., Lochner, J., Kitzmann, N., Heitzig, J., Lehmann, S., Wiedermann, M., Vollmer, J.. 2021. Dose–response functions and surrogate models for exploring social contagion in the Copenhagen Networks Study. The European Physical Journal Special Topics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjs/s11734-021-00279-7
Spreading dynamics and complex contagion processes on networks are important mechanisms underlying the emergence of critical transitions, tipping points and other non-linear phenomena in complex human and natural systems. Increasing amounts of temporal network data are now becoming available to study such spreading processes of behaviours, opinions, ideas, diseases and innovations to test hypotheses regarding their specific pr...
Brovkin, V., Brook, E., Williams, J., Bathiany, S., Lenton, T., Barton, M., DeConto, R., Donges, J., Ganopolski, A., McManus, J., Praetorius, S., de Vernal, A., Abe-Ouchi, A., Cheng, H., Claussen, M., Crucifix, M., Gallopín, G., Iglesias, V., Kaufman, D., Kleinen, T., Lambert, F., van der Leeuw, S., Liddy, H., Loutre, M., McGee, D., Rehfeld, K., Rhodes, R., Seddon, A., Trauth, M., Vanderveken, L., Yu, Z.. 2021. Past abrupt changes, tipping points and cascading impacts in the Earth system. Nature Geoscience. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00790-5
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 ...
Wunderling, N., Donges, J., Kurths, J., Winkelmann, R.. 2021. Interacting tipping elements increase risk of climate domino effects under global warming. Earth System Dynamics. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esd-12-601-2021
With progressing global warming, there is an increased risk that one or several tipping elements in the climate system might cross a critical threshold, resulting in severe consequences for the global climate, ecosystems and human societies. While the underlying processes are fairly well-understood, it is unclear how their interactions might impact the overall stability of the Earth's climate system. As of yet, this cannot be ...
Winkelmann, R., Donges, J., F., Smith, K.E., Milkoreit, M., Eder, C., Heitzig, J., Katsanidou, A., Wiedermann, M., Wunderling, N., Lenton, T.M. 2021. Social tipping processes for sustainability: An analytical framework. arXiv:2010.04488
Societal transformations are necessary to address critical global challenges, such as mitigation of anthropogenic climate change and reaching UN sustainable development goals. Recently, social tipping processes have received increased attention, as they present a form of social change whereby a small change can shift a sensitive social system into a qualitatively different state due to strongly self-amplifying (mathematically ...
Journal / article
Barfuss, W., Donges, J.F., Vasconcelos, V.V., Kurths, J. and Levin, S.A., 2020. Caring for the future can turn tragedy into comedy for long-term collective action under risk of collapse. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(23), pp.12915-12922.
We will need collective action to avoid catastrophic climate change, and this will require valuing the long term as well as the short term. Shortsightedness and uncertainty have hindered progress in resolving this collective action problem and have been recognized as important barriers to cooperation among humans. Here, we propose a coupled social–ecological dilemma to investigate the interdependence of three well-identified ...
Klose, A.K., Karle, V., Winkelmann, R. and Donges, J.F., 2020. Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate. Royal Society open science, 7(6), p.200599.
In ecology, climate and other fields, (sub)systems have been identified that can transition into a qualitatively different state when a critical threshold or tipping point in a driving process is crossed. An understanding of those tipping elements is of great interest given the increasing influence of humans on the biophysical Earth system. Complex interactions exist between tipping elements, e.g. physical mechanisms connect s...
Kornhuber, K., Coumou, D., Vogel, E., Lesk, C., Donges, J.F., Lehmann, J. and Horton, R.M., 2020. Amplified Rossby waves enhance risk of concurrent heatwaves in major breadbasket regions. Nature Climate Change, 10(1), pp.48-53.
In an interconnected world, simultaneous extreme weather events in distant regions could potentially impose high-end risks for societies. In the mid-latitudes, circumglobal Rossby waves are associated with a strongly meandering jet stream and might cause simultaneous heatwaves and floods across the northern hemisphere. For example, in the summer of 2018, several heat and rainfall extremes occurred near-simultaneously. Here we...
Ide, T., Fröhlich, C. and Donges, J.F., 2020. The Economic, Political, and Social Implications of Environmental Crises. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101(3), pp.E364-E367.
Otto, I.M., Wiedermann, M., Cremades, R., Donges, J.F., Auer, C. and Lucht, W., 2020. Human agency in the anthropocene. Ecological Economics, 167, p.106463.
The human species has been recognized as a new force that has pushed the Earth's system into a new geological epoch referred to as the Anthropocene. This human influence was not conscious, however, but an unintended effect of the consumption of fossil-fuels over the last 150 years. Do we, humans, have the agency to deliberately influence the fate of our species and the planet we inhabit? The rational choice paradigm that domi...
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