Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate: Cascading dynamics in tipping elements

Klose AK, Karle V, Winkelmann R, Donges JF. 2020. Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate: Cascading dynamics in tipping elements. Royal Society Open Science. 7(6), 200599.

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Journal Article | Published | English

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Author
Klose, Ann Kristin; Karle, VolkerIST Austria; Winkelmann, Ricarda; Donges, Jonathan F.
Department
Abstract
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 subsystems of the climate system. Based on earlier work on such coupled nonlinear systems, we systematically assessed the qualitative long-term behaviour of interacting tipping elements. We developed an understanding of the consequences of interactions on the tipping behaviour allowing for tipping cascades to emerge under certain conditions. The (narrative) application of these qualitative results to real-world examples of interacting tipping elements indicates that tipping cascades with profound consequences may occur: the interacting Greenland ice sheet and thermohaline ocean circulation might tip before the tipping points of the isolated subsystems are crossed. The eutrophication of the first lake in a lake chain might propagate through the following lakes without a crossing of their individual critical nutrient input levels. The possibility of emerging cascading tipping dynamics calls for the development of a unified theory of interacting tipping elements and the quantitative analysis of interacting real-world tipping elements.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2020-06-01
Journal Title
Royal Society Open Science
Acknowledgement
V.K. thanks the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) for financial support. J.F.D. is grateful for financial support by the Stordalen Foundation via the Planetary Boundary Research Network (PB.net), the Earth League’s EarthDoc program and the European Research Council Advanced Grant project ERA (Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene). We are thankful for support by the Leibniz Association (project DominoES). Acknowledgements. This work has been performed in the context of the copan collaboration and the FutureLab on Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Furthermore, we acknowledge discussions with and helpful comments by N. Wunderling, J. Heitzig and M. Wiedermann.
Volume
7
Issue
6
Article Number
200599
eISSN
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Klose AK, Karle V, Winkelmann R, Donges JF. Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate: Cascading dynamics in tipping elements. Royal Society Open Science. 2020;7(6). doi:10.1098/rsos.200599
Klose, A. K., Karle, V., Winkelmann, R., & Donges, J. F. (2020). Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate: Cascading dynamics in tipping elements. Royal Society Open Science. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200599
Klose, Ann Kristin, Volker Karle, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Jonathan F. Donges. “Emergence of Cascading Dynamics in Interacting Tipping Elements of Ecology and Climate: Cascading Dynamics in Tipping Elements.” Royal Society Open Science, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200599.
A. K. Klose, V. Karle, R. Winkelmann, and J. F. Donges, “Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate: Cascading dynamics in tipping elements,” Royal Society Open Science, vol. 7, no. 6. 2020.
Klose AK, Karle V, Winkelmann R, Donges JF. 2020. Emergence of cascading dynamics in interacting tipping elements of ecology and climate: Cascading dynamics in tipping elements. Royal Society Open Science. 7(6), 200599.
Klose, Ann Kristin, et al. “Emergence of Cascading Dynamics in Interacting Tipping Elements of Ecology and Climate: Cascading Dynamics in Tipping Elements.” Royal Society Open Science, vol. 7, no. 6, 200599, 2020, doi:10.1098/rsos.200599.
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2020-11-09
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