Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
 | Highlight paper
14 Jun 2023
Review | Highlight paper |  | 14 Jun 2023

Rate-induced tipping in natural and human systems

Paul D. L. Ritchie, Hassan Alkhayuon, Peter M. Cox, and Sebastian Wieczorek


Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1176', Richard Rosen, 12 Nov 2022
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1176', Niklas Boers, 26 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1176', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Dec 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1176', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 Dec 2022

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision | EF: Editorial file upload
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (13 Feb 2023) by Gabriele Messori
AR by Paul Ritchie on behalf of the Authors (27 Mar 2023)  Author's response   Author's tracked changes   Manuscript 
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (28 Mar 2023) by Gabriele Messori
RR by Anonymous Referee #2 (08 Apr 2023)
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (16 Apr 2023) by Gabriele Messori
AR by Paul Ritchie on behalf of the Authors (04 May 2023)  Author's response   Author's tracked changes   Manuscript 
ED: Publish as is (07 May 2023) by Gabriele Messori
AR by Paul Ritchie on behalf of the Authors (10 May 2023)  Manuscript 
Chief editor
Tipping points have potentially major detrimental impacts on natural and human systems. This study highlights how the rate of change in external conditions is arguably one of the key tipping mechanisms for both natural and human systems in the human-dominated anthropocene. This notion of rate-induced tipping -- namely an instability that occurs when external conditions vary faster than some critical rate -- will likely become an increasingly important topic of scientific research in the coming years.
Short summary
Complex systems can undergo abrupt changes or tipping points when external forcing crosses a critical level and are of increasing concern because of their severe impacts. However, tipping points can also occur when the external forcing changes too quickly without crossing any critical levels, which is very relevant for Earth’s systems and contemporary climate. We give an intuitive explanation of such rate-induced tipping and provide illustrative examples from natural and human systems.
Final-revised paper