Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago. At that time, these ‘large-scale discontinuities’ in the climate system were considered likely only if global warming exceeded 5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Information summarized in the two most recent IPCC Special Reports (published in 2018 and in September this year) suggests that tipping points could be exceeded even between 1 and 2 °C of warming.

The Greenland ice sheet is melting at an accelerating rate. It could add a further 7 m to sea level over thousands of years if it passes a particular threshold. Beyond that, as the elevation of the ice sheet lowers, it melts further, exposing the surface to ever-warmer air. Models suggest that the Greenland ice sheet could be doomed at 1.5 °C of warming, which could happen as soon as 2030….

Read the full article here….

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