Navigation Links
Universal rules discovered that allow anticipation of critical transitions
Date:2/15/2013

Sudden shifts in complex systems such as the climate, financial markets, ecosystems and even the human body can be preceded by surprisingly comparable warning signals. It is crucial to be able to predict such transitions, but this is notoriously difficult. In a presentation for the 2013 AAAS meeting, Marten Scheffer presents recent work revealing that systems that are on the verge of a critical transition often emit comparable signals.

At first glance, it appears improbable that a climate shift, an epileptic seizure, the collapse of a fish population or a sudden transition in a financial system have something in common. However, Marten Scheffer from Wageningen University explains that completely different systems such as the brain, the climate and financial markets obey certain universal laws when they are at a critical transition point that make it possible to recognise early warning signals. This has to do with a phenomenon that is known in mathematics as 'Critical Slowing Down', implying that recovery from small perturbations becomes slow in the vicinity of tipping points.

Since Scheffer and colleagues postulated this idea in a Nature publication in 2009, an avalanche of studies, including eight publications in Nature and Science has provided evidence. Scheffer now makes up the balance but also show that related families of generic early warning signals exist. For instance, certain universal features determine whether complex networks such as webs of species or webs of financial institutes will be robust or fragile.

Despite the overwhelming growth of evidence for these revolutionary ideas, Scheffer emphasises that the applications for universal warning signals are still in their infancy. He has launched an interdisciplinary research program 'SparcS' (http://www.sparcs-center.org/ ) that is now exploring applications in medical sciences as well as in social sciences, ecology and climate research


'/>"/>
Contact: Marten Scheffer
Marten.Scheffer@wur.nl
31-641-804-880
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Victory stance may be a universal gesture of triumph -- not pride -- study suggests
2. Flu antibody’s one-handed grab may boost effort toward universal vaccine, new therapies
3. Shark rules need teeth, groups tell IUCN
4. Unexpected crustacean diversity discovered in northern freshwater ecosystems
5. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
6. Newly discovered foot points to a new kid on the hominin block
7. New immune defense enzyme discovered
8. New genetic mechanism of immune deficiency discovered
9. Housekeeping mechanism for brain stem cells discovered
10. Scientists have discovered genes that increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
11. New form of intellectual disability discovered
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... Nigeria . Recently, ... 23,000 public service employees either did not exist with ... unlawfully.    --> Nigeria . ... than 23,000 public service employees either did not exist ... salary unlawfully.    --> DERMALOG, the biometrics ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... , March 8, 2016   Valencell ... technology, today announced it has secured $11M in ... GII Tech, a new venture fund being launched ... additional participation from existing investors TDF Ventures and ... funds to continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... Calif. , March 3, 2016  2016FLEX, ... launched this week highlighting advancements in flexible, hybrid ... a record setting attendance - have gathered for ... this fast-growing field of electronics. The Flex Conference ... focal point for companies, R&D organizations, and universities ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... The report "Cryocooler Market by ... (Technical Support, Product Repairs & Refurbishment, Preventive Maintenance, and ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected ... a CAGR of 7.29% between 2016 and 2022. ... Figures spread through 159 Pages and in-depth TOC on ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced the launch of VentureClash , ... (fintech) companies. , “VentureClash looks to attract the best early-stage companies ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... As part of an ... experts, and expanding its LATAM network and logistics capabilities. Enhancements have been ... their clinical trial projects. , The expansion will provide unmatched clinical trial logistics ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of Smart Data analytic and ... named to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data Companies of 2016.” ... needs of end users facing some of the most complex data challenges in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: