Early-warning signals for critical transitions

Nature. 2009 Sep 3;461(7260):53-9. doi: 10.1038/nature08227.


Complex dynamical systems, ranging from ecosystems to financial markets and the climate, can have tipping points at which a sudden shift to a contrasting dynamical regime may occur. Although predicting such critical points before they are reached is extremely difficult, work in different scientific fields is now suggesting the existence of generic early-warning signals that may indicate for a wide class of systems if a critical threshold is approaching.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Climate
  • Ecosystem*
  • Eutrophication
  • Extinction, Biological
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Economic*
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Stochastic Processes