Human action is driving worldwide change in ecosystems. While some of these changes have been gradual, others have led to surprising, large and persistent ecological regime shifts 1-4. Such shifts challenge ecological management and governance because they substantially alter the availability of ecosystems services 5, while being difficult to predict 6 and reverse2. Assessing whether continued global change will lead to further regime shifts, or has the potential trigger cascading regime shifts has been a central question in global change policy 7-9. Addressing this issue has, however, been hampered by the focus of regime shift research on specific cases or types of regime shifts 9-11. To systematically assess the global risk of regime shifts we conducted a comparative analysis of 25 types of regime shifts across marine, terrestrial and polar systems; identifying their drivers, and impacts on ecosystem services. We demonstrate that the drivers of regime shifts are diverse and widely shared among regime shifts, which suggests that continued global change can be expected to synchronously increase the risk of multiple regime shifts. Furthermore, many regime shift drivers are related to climate change and food production, whose tight links to the continued expansion of human activities makes them difficult to limit. Because many regime shifts can amplify the drivers of other regime shifts, continued global change can also be expected to increase the risk of cascading regime shifts 8,12. Nevertheless, the variety of scales at which regime shift drivers operate provides opportunities for reducing the risk of many types of regime shifts by addressing local or regional drivers, even in the absence of rapid reduction of global drivers.