What do you mean, tipping point?
van Nes, E. H., B. M. S. Arani, A. Staal, B. van der Bolt, B. M. Flores, S. Bathiany, and M. Scheffer. 2016. What Do You Mean, "Tipping Point"? Trends in Ecology & Evolution in press. [Full text]
Over the past 10 years the use of the term "tipping point" in the scientific literature has exploded. It was originally used loosely as a metaphor for the phenomenon that, beyond a certain threshold, runaway change propels a system to a new state. Although several specific mathematical definitions have since been proposed, we argue that these are too narrow and that it is better to retain the original definition.