We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Social tipping points and Earth systems dynamics.

Bentley, R. A. and Maddison, E. J. and Ranner, P. H. and Bissell, J. J. and Caiado, C. C. C. S. and Bhatanacharoen, P. and Clark, T. and Botha, M. and Akinbami, F. and Hollow, M. and Michie, R. and Huntley, B. and Curtis, S. E. and Garnett, P. R. (2014) 'Social tipping points and Earth systems dynamics.', Frontiers in environmental science., 2 . p. 35.


Recently, Early Warning Signals (EWS) have been developed to predict tipping points in Earth Systems. This discussion highlights the potential to apply EWS to human social and economic systems, which may also undergo similar critical transitions. Social tipping points are particularly difficult to predict, however, and the current formulation of EWS, based on a physical system analogy, may be insufficient. As an alternative set of EWS for social systems, we join with other authors encouraging a focus on heterogeneity, connectivity through social networks and individual thresholds to change.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Ecological breakdown, Social collapse, Paleoecology, Paleoclimatology, Research synergies.
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Copyright © 2014 Bentley, Maddison, Ranner, Bissell, Caiado, Bhatanacharoen, Clark, Botha, Akinbami, Hollow, Michie, Huntley, Curtis and Garnett. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:21 August 2014
Date of first online publication:August 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar