This is an interesting paper indeed - a new PNAS paper argues that before an abrupt climate change, there is a characteristic SLOWING DOWN of climate change that might be a warning sign:

Putting our results in an even wider perspective, it is important that slowing down is a universal property of systems approaching a tipping point. This implies that our techniques might in principle be used to construct operational early warning systems for critical transitions in a wider range of complex systems where tipping points are suspected to exist, ranging from disease dynamics and physiology to social and ecological systems.

Well worth a read.  Hat tip to Stuart Staniford for pointing it out.

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Basically the same mathematical concepts show up in Steve Keen's work with economic modeling. His models predicted a "great moderation" as a prelude to an economic depression, much like we experienced in the run-up to the "Great Recession".
It's nice to see math work across such disparate subjects!

By Gary Rondeau (not verified) on 13 Mar 2013 #permalink

There's a reason for the phrase "the calm before the storm." It's not just a cliche.

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I

By vidare till sidan (not verified) on 15 Mar 2013 #permalink

"If itswarmer thatts global warming; if its drier thats global warming; if its wetter thats global warming; if its colder thats global warming."

is now being joined with
If the globe is getting warmwer thats global warminmg and if the globe isn't getting warmer thats global warming too.

An interesting demonstration of the "environmentalists'" respect for the scientific method.

Also further proof, if any were needed, that the ecofascists on "scienceblogs" and elsewhere have not the tiniest trace of honesty let alone respect for science

By Neil Craig (not verified) on 19 Mar 2013 #permalink