Tipping points, critical transitions, and bifurcations: Can we predict the future?
AbstractRecent work from Marten Scheffer and colleagues has made bold claims . "Complex dynamical systems, ranging from ecosystems to financial markets and the climate, can have tipping points at which a sudden shift to a contrasting dynamical regime may occur. Although predicting such critical points before they are reached is extremely difficult, work in different scientific fields is now suggesting the existence of generic early-warning signals that may indicate for a wide class of systems if a critical threshold is approaching." In a recent paper in Critical Care Medicine, Scheffer and colleagues (including me) argue that these results may be applicable in medicine .В I will discuss this work from the context of my own interest in bifurcations, problems associated with alternans rhythms , and transition to and risk stratification for sudden cardiac death. ...