Approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere
Barnosky, Anthony D.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.; Bascompte, Jordi; Berlow, Eric L.; Brown, James H.; Fortelius, Mikael; Getz, Wayne M.; Harte, John; Hastings, Alan; Marquet, Pablo A.; Martinez, Neo D.; Matzke, Nicholas
Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Here we review evidence that the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence. The plausibility of a planetary-scale ‘tipping point’ highlights the need to improve biological forecasting by detecting early warning signs of critical transitions on global...[Show more]
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