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Times are changing: implications of climate change for the occurrence and predictability of tipping points.
Group: Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Wageningen University
Promotor: Prof. Dr Marten Scheffer (WU)
Supervisor: Dr Egbert H. van Nes (WU)
Complex systems in ecology and the climate can have tipping points. The term ‘tipping point’ is loosely defined as a threshold point in the conditions after which runaway change brings the system to a new stable state. Such a transition can have long-term dire consequences, and therefore it is of critical importance to understand why and when these transitions occur. Under the ongoing climate change, these critical transitions are projected to increase. However, little is understood about how relative timescales of the rate of environmental change and variability affect the occurrence and detectability of these critical transitions in nature and society. The aim of this thesis is to provide some insights in how differences in these timescales may affect critical transitions.