Exit time as measure of ecological resilience

Today our paper “Exit time as a measure of ecological resilience” came out in Science.
In this paper we show a universal way to estimate life expectancy of complex systems that have tipping points. The approach may help to characterize fragility of systems as diverse as forests, algal blooms, climate states, or societies. such as forests or climate states.

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Loss of resilience preceded transformations of Pueblo societies

Today our paper on the resilience of Pueblo societies appeared in PNAS. In this paper we show that transformations of pre-Hispanic Pueblo societies were preceded by a loss of resilience.

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Global inequality remotely sensed

Today our paper on remotely sensed inequality appeared in PNAS. In this paper we show how we can use remotely sensed night-time light, to estimate income inequality world-wide.

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You Matter More Than You Think

The book ‘You Matter More Than You Think: Quantum Social Change in Response to a World in Crisis’ is about how and why you as an individual matter when it comes to responding to climate change and other global crises. The book is written by social geographer Karen O’Brien. Drawings by Tone Bjordam. You can download a pdf version of the book through this link:  https://www.youmattermorethanyouthink.com

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Human Niche paper attracts much media attention

Our paper about the human climate niche was among the 5 most popular scientific papers of May 2020. It was the only non-COVID-19-related study in May’s top five. The paper has been covered by more than 150 online news outlets so far, and reached almost 5 million people on Twitter.

Podcast about the Future of the Human Climate Niche

Marten Scheffer and Tim Kohler were this week’s guests in the official podcast channel of the Santa Fe Institute. In this episode, they discussed the past and future human climate niche, how our ability to adapt to climate change is hampered by the psychology of sunk costs, and how a better understanding of social tipping points and collective information processing at the scale of civilization could help prevent the catastrophes ensured by business as usual.


Podcast: The Future of the Human Climate Niche with Tim Kohler & Marten Scheffer

Animation of the Human Niche

The organization Globaia has produced the impressive video below, visualizing the results from our human climate niche paper (see also this news item).

Album with contemplative compositions

The album “Grond” with contemplative compositions by Marten Scheffer is released on Spotify, Link here >
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Future of the human climate niche

The paper “Future of the human climate niche” came just came out in PNAS. Read more

Dual Thinking for Scientists

An article about creativity in science (Marten Scheffer et al.), drawing by Tone Bjordam.

Recent studies provide compelling evidence for the idea that creative thinking draws upon two kinds of processes linked to distinct physiological features, and stimulated under different conditions. In short, the fast system-I produces intuition whereas the slow and deliberate system-II produces reasoning. System-I can help see novel solutions and associations instantaneously, but is prone to error. System-II has other biases, but can help checking and modifying the system-I results. Although thinking is the core business of science, the accepted ways of doing our work focus almost entirely on facilitating system-II. We discuss the role of system-I thinking in past scientific breakthroughs, and argue that scientific progress may be catalyzed by creating conditions for such associative intuitive thinking in our academic lives and in education. Unstructured socializing time, education for daring exploration, and cooperation with the arts are among the potential elements. Because such activities may be looked upon as procrastination rather than work, deliberate effort is needed to counteract our systematic bias.

You can read the article here:

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