title: tipping points

When a system fundamentally changes structure and function, settling into a new stable state.

![Tipping point effects](assets/Tipping point effects - Regime Shifts.png)

  • Nonlinear effects
    • Can have very big consequences
  • Not easy to reverse
  • Difficult to predict

Feedback Loops

  • Feedback loops keep the system in its stable state
    • As feedback loops change direction or if the feedback loop of the alternate regime become increasingly strong they can create sudden changes
    • Systems that have higher resilience will be more resistant to regime shifts

![Feedback loops and regime shifts](assets/Feedback loops and regime shifts.png)

Example of Rainforests

  • Water-generating feedback loop
    • High density of plants traps moisture and generates rainfall
    • Rainfall allows vegetation to thrive
  • As you cut down the forests, you break the feedback loop, and set it in the opposite direction
    • No plants to trap heat, no rainfall, less plants, less rainfall etc…

Global Tipping Elements

![Global Tipping Elements](assets/Global Tipping Elements.png)

Example of Coral Reefs

  • shifts from diverse coral reefs
    • dominated by coral, have rich fish populations,
    • supporting lots of tourist industries
    • protect the coast from storms;
  • to algae-dominated reefs
    • much less fish often, much smaller fish, and not diverse community of things
    • big impacts for both the ability of local people to persist, and on the conservation of nature.

Created on: 2020-12-28 Inspired by: Course - Planetary Boundaries Related: complex adaptive systems | biosphere stewardship