Practical Methods for Analysis of Early - Warnings for Regime Shifts
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Complex systems ranging from ecosystems to financial markets and the climate may have tipping points where a sudden shift to a contrasting regime can occur. As such critical transitions can have dire consequences, being able to predict them is very important. Unfortunately, detecting critical points is extremely difficult as good predictive models are mostly lacking. However, recent work suggests that we may find empirical indicators to assess whether a system is approaching a tipping point. Such generic early-warning indicators appear to work for all kinds of critical transitions and, in principle, can be identifiable in a wide range of complex systems like ecosystems, financial markets, or the climate.
Much of the research on early-warning signals is still under development with new ideas constantly arising. Although the topic has emerged through the field of theoretical ecology, the observation that critical transitions across a range of systems may be related, with similar possible early-warning signals, has rapidly led to connecting work across disciplines from ecosystems to climate, psychology and medicine. While there is still much work to be done on building a comprehensive theory of early-warning systems for critical transitions, the biggest challenge remains the practical application of early-warning signals.
To bridge the gap between theory and practice, well-described tools and methodologies for early-warning signals are needed. The ultimate goal of this workshop is to bring together experts on the field of early-warning signals to create an inventory of methods, exchange knowledge, apply techniques on common datasets, and create a common environment for the dissemination of the methods to the broader scientific community.
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