We spent the hour looking at the science of tippings and what they mean for our climate and our ecosystems on land and in water today. What causes these types of sudden changes? And how can society be better prepared for such events? We spoke with three scientists whose studies involve tipping points, how they happen and their effects.[ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Peter Ward is a Professor of Paleontology and Biology at the Earth and Space Sciences Department of the University of Washington, Seattle.He is the co-author of the best-selling Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe, the author of many books including, Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere, Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future, and The Medea Hypothesis: Is Life on Earth Ultimately Self-Destructive? which was listed by the New York Times as one of the “100 most important ideas of 2009.”
  • Simon Thrush is Professor of Marine Science and Head of the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Auckalnd in New Zealand, He is the co-author of many publications including, Real world biodiversity-ecosystem functioning: A seafloor perspective, The up-scaling of ecosystem functions in a heterogeneous world, and Altered Sea Ice Thickness and Permanence Affects Benthic Ecosystem Functioning in Coastal Antarctica.
  • George Perry is a Professor at the School of Environment at the University of Auckland. He studies the effects of humans on forest ecosystems. He is the co-author of many publications including, Positive Feedbacks to Fire-Driven Deforestation Following Human Colonization of the South Island of New Zealand, Feedbacks and landscape-level vegetation dynamics, and Pyrodiversity is the coupling of biodiversity and fire regimes in food webs.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

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