Emergent patterns in nature and society

The Network of Driving Forces of Global Environmental Change

It is the title of my talk today at the Workshop of Complex Networks in the Florida Institute of Technology. In a nutshell, the take home message was:

  •  regime shifts are multi causal phenomena with several drivers that are likely to interact;
  •  those interactions occur in a non-random pattern where the co-occurrence of certain drivers happen more often than expected
  • the most important interacting drivers can be classified in 3 groups: food production related drivers (e.g. agriculture, fishing, fertilizers use), climate change drivers (global warming, green house emissions, increasing frequency of floods and droughts), and demographic drivers (urbanization, human population growth).

Valuable comments emphasize the possibility of distinguish weather driver interactions always reinforce each other or perhaps sometimes dampen the shift of the ecosystem to undesirable states.

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