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Posted Wed Feb 10 2010: from UC Davis, via EurekAlert:
Climate 'tipping points' may arrive without warning, says top forecaster
A new University of California, Davis, study by a top ecological forecaster says it is harder than experts thought to predict when sudden shifts in Earth's natural systems will occur -- a worrisome finding for scientists trying to identify the tipping points that could push climate change into an irreparable global disaster. "Many scientists are looking for the warning signs that herald sudden changes in natural systems, in hopes of forestalling those changes, or improving our preparations for them," said UC Davis theoretical ecologist Alan Hastings. "Our new study found, unfortunately, that regime shifts with potentially large consequences can happen without warning -- systems can 'tip' precipitously. This means that some effects of global climate change on ecosystems can be seen only once the effects are dramatic. By that point returning the system to a desirable state will be difficult, if not impossible."
[Read more stories about: tipping point, faster than expected, holyshit]

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'Doc Jim says:
And how, pray tell, have we been doing with warnings?

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