Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere

  title={Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere},
  author={Anthony D Barnosky and Elizabeth A. Hadly and Jordi Bascompte and Eric L Berlow and James H. Brown and Mikael Fortelius and Wayne M. Getz and John Harte and Alan Hastings and Pablo A. Marquet and Neo D. Martinez and Arne O. Mooers and Peter D. Roopnarine and Geerat J. Vermeij and John W. Williams and Rosemary G. Gillespie and Justin Kitzes and Charles R. Marshall and Nicholas J. Matzke and David P. Mindell and Eloy Revilla and Adam B. Smith},
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… 

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