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Press Release 09-161

Dead Ahead: Similar Early Warning Signals of Change in Climate, Ecosystems, Financial Markets, Human Health

Scientists identify 'tipping points' at which sudden shifts to new conditions occur

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Photo of Wisconsin's side-by-side Peter and Paul Lakes.

Early warning indicators have been found in Wisconsin's side-by-side Peter and Paul Lakes.

Credit: Steve Carpenter, University of Wisconsin


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Photo of emaciated, dead animal in a desert.

Drought is turning many of Earth's formerly verdant regions into deserts.

Credit: Government of Australia


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Photo of melting ice sheets in the Arctic.

Ice sheets in the Arctic are rapidly disappearing, reaching possible points-of-no-return.

Credit: NOAA


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Illustration showing signals among neurons that precede an epileptic seizure.

Abrupt changes in signals among neurons precede an epileptic seizure.

Credit: NIH


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Photo of people walking and viewing computer monitors on the stock market floor.

Financial markets have the same early warnings, scientists are finding, as the natural world.

Credit: State of New York


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