The report is polarizing since the paper opposes recent scientific endeavors to identify planetary tipping points, known as critical levels of biodiversity loss or land-use change that would have effects all over the earth. A tipping point occurs when an ecosystem attribute such as species abundance or carbon sequestration responds rapidly and possibly irreversibly to a human pressure like land-use change or climate change.
Authors of the paper say their findings are good news since it dismisses the gloom-and-doom scenarios perpetuated in relation to climate change. Researchers fear that a focus on planetary tipping points, of the point-of-no-return mentality leads to a fatalistic sense of hopelessness that makes combatting climate change even more difficult.
Criteria for a planetary tipping point (abrupt climate change) are very unlikely to be met in the real world, according to scientists. They determine that continental ecosystems are not connected, the responses of ecosystems to human effects like land-use change or climate change depends on local circumstances and will vary between different locations.
Ultimately, the scientists looked at four drivers of terrestrial ecosystem change: land-use change, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. They discovered than any of these were not capable of inducing global tipping points.