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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...
Wunderling, N., Stumpf, B., Krönke, J., Staal, A., Tuinenburg, O.A., Winkelmann, R. and Donges, J.F., 2020. How motifs condition critical thresholds for tipping cascades in complex networks: Linking micro-to macro-scales A3B2 show [editpick]?>. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 30(4), p.043129.
In this study, we investigate how specific micro-interaction structures (motifs) affect the occurrence of tipping cascades on networks of stylized tipping elements. We compare the properties of cascades in Erdős–Rényi networks and an exemplary moisture recycling network of the Amazon rainforest. Within these networks, decisive small-scale motifs are the feed forward loop, the secondary feed forward loop, the zero loop, and the...
Krönke, J., Wunderling, N., Winkelmann, R., Staal, A., Stumpf, B., Tuinenburg, O.A. and Donges, J.F., 2020. Dynamics of tipping cascades on complex networks. Physical Review E, 101(4), p.042311.
Tipping points occur in diverse systems in various disciplines such as ecology, climate science, economy, and engineering. Tipping points are critical thresholds in system parameters or state variables at which a tiny perturbation can lead to a qualitative change of the system. Many systems with tipping points can be modeled as networks of coupled multistable subsystems, e.g., coupled patches of vegetation, connected lakes, in...
Garbe, J., Albrecht, T., Levermann, A., Donges, J.F. and Winkelmann, R., 2020. The hysteresis of the Antarctic ice sheet. Nature, 585(7826), pp.538-544.
More than half of Earth’s freshwater resources are held by the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which thus represents by far the largest potential source for global sea-level rise under future warming conditions1. Its long-term stability determines the fate of our coastal cities and cultural heritage. Feedbacks between ice, atmosphere, ocean, and the solid Earth give rise to potential nonlinearities in its response to temperature changes....
Wiedermann, M., Smith, E.K., Heitzig, J., Donges, J. et al. 2020. A network-based microfoundation of Granovetter’s threshold model for social tipping. Sci Rep 10, 11202 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67102-6
Social tipping, where minorities trigger larger populations to engage in collective action, has been suggested as one key aspect in addressing contemporary global challenges. Here, we refine Granovetter’s widely acknowledged theoretical threshold model of collective behavior as a numerical modelling tool for understanding social tipping processes and resolve issues that so far have hindered such applications. Based on real-wor...
Wunderling, N., Willeit, M., Donges, J.F. et al. 2020. Global warming due to loss of large ice masses and Arctic summer sea ice. Nat Commun 11, 5177 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18934-3
Several large-scale cryosphere elements such as the Arctic summer sea ice, the mountain glaciers, the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet have changed substantially during the last century due to anthropogenic global warming. However, the impacts of their possible future disintegration on global mean temperature (GMT) and climate feedbacks have not yet been comprehensively evaluated. Here, we quantify this response using a...
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