Much of the work on abrupt emergent properties is hypothetical and that on human responses captured in (pre)historical interpretations, before the human-environment conditions of the Anthropocene. The challenge is gleaning the lessons about societal responses to projected and “surprise” abrupt changes in the Anthropocene.

Key Questions

•   What are the types of projected abrupt change for which society has demonstrated a willingness to prepare?

• What characteristics of changes in ecosystem services and societal coping mechanisms make human populations more robust and resilient, and less vulnerable to abrupt change?


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•   Wai Kin (Victor) Chan, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

•   George Hornberger, Vanderbilt University

•   Jane Carter Ingram, Wildlife Conservation Society

•   Louise E. Jackson, University of California, Davis

•   Gregory M. Masters, University of Maryland

•   Katrina Mullan, University of California, Berkeley

•   Shahid Naeem, Columbia University in the City of New York

•   Jennifer K. O’Leary, OneReef

•   Jennie C. Stephens, Clark University

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