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Posted Sat Sep 5 2009: from National Science Foundation via ScienceDaily:
Early Warning Signals Of Change: 'Tipping Points' Identified Where Sudden Shifts To New Conditions Occur
What do abrupt changes in ocean circulation and Earth's climate, shifts in wildlife populations and ecosystems, the global finance market and its system-wide crashes, and asthma attacks and epileptic seizures have in common? According to a paper published this week in the journal Nature, all share generic early-warning signals that indicate a critical threshold of change dead ahead... "It's increasingly clear that many complex systems have critical thresholds -- 'tipping points' -- at which these systems shift abruptly from one state to another," write the scientists in their paper. Especially relevant, they discovered, is that "catastrophic bifurcations," a diverging of the ways, propel a system toward a new state once a certain threshold is exceeded.
[Read more stories about: Very Scary Tags: climate impacts, tipping point, technical cleverness

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'Doc Michael says:
I usually experience "catastrophic bifurcations" after a good meal.

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