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Scheffer et al. 2009. Early warnings of critical transitions. Nature 461: 53-59

Critical transitions in biological, ecological, and social systems are difficult to detect and incur large costs. This paper summarizes evidence that changes in statistical properties (variance, skewness, autocorrelation) may precede critical transitions/resilience loss/regime shifts in a variety of systems. Use of these diagnostics requires some a priori knowledge of the system, but less than is necessary to model the location of thresholds. These metrics are potentially confounded by other processes that may alter system behavior.

Scheffer et al 2009 early warnings of critical transitions.pdf — PDF document, 1014Kb