Lamberson Award 2023

From left to right: Dr. Lotta Kluger, Rudi Voss, Dr. Renato Salvatecci, Prof. Dr. Marie-Catherine Riekhof

For their 2022 article on social-ecological tipping points “To tip or not to tip: The Window of Tipping Point Analysis for social-ecological systems” the Humboldt-Tipping team won the 2023  Lamberson Award 2023. 


The authors defined a “Window of Tipping Point Analysis (WTPA)”

The definition of the WTPA itself is related to the research question to be examined encompasses the following six steps:

  • 1.

    Describe the elements included in the analysis. This may relate to specifying which species are considered (ecological subsystem) and which human actors or sectors (social realm). We define elements as a relevant unit that may change its state. Its exact dimension depends on the analysis at hand.

  • 2.

    Describe the period considered and the speed of adjustment (years vs decades).

  • 3.

    Describe the relations between the different elements. The relation may be uni- or bidirectional, with different speeds between the elements.

  • 4.

    Describe which exogenous impacts—impacts from outside the window—may be relevant and are considered; and ideally, also describe which exogenous impacts are excluded from the analysis and how elements within the window impact elements outside of the window.

  • 5.

    Describe the potential states of the different elements. This is especially relevant when conducting a temporal analysis. Relations between elements may change depending on their specific states.

  • 6.

    Describe intervention possibilities and how these intervention possibilities may relate to the different elements and their potential states.