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Managing for resilience: early detection of regime shifts in complex systems
EASON, T., A. GARMESTANI, AND H. CABEZAS. Managing for resilience: early detection of regime shifts in complex systems. CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. Springer Berlin-Heidelberg, , Germany, 16(4):773-783, (2014).
The goal of sustainability is to maintain a condition or regime of the Earth, which supports human existence from generation to generation. Hence, the ability to detect, characterize, and manage regime shifts, particularly catastrophic ones, is critical to maintaining human sustainability. Therefore, there is a need for methods that are not only able to detect regime shifts but more importantly, identify them before they occur. Rising variance, skewness, kurtosis and critical slowing down have all been proposed as indicators of impending regime shifts. However, these approaches typically do not signal a shift until it is well underway. Further, they have primarily been used to evaluate simple systems; hence, additional work is needed to adapt these methods, if possible, to real systems which typically are complex and multivariate. Fisher information is a key method in information theory and affords the ability to characterize the dynamic behavior of systems. In this work, Fisher information is compared to traditional indicators through the assessment of model and real systems and identified as a leading indicator of impending regime shifts. Evidenced by the great deal of activity in the research area, it is understood that such work could lead to better methods for detecting and managing systems that are of significant importance to humans. Thus, we believe the results of this work offer great promise for resilience science and sustainability.
To inform the public
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION
SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH