How Close Are We to the Tipping Points from Climate Change?


Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change:Anticipating Surprises (201 page pdf, James W.C. White, Richard B. Alley, David E. Archer, Anthony D. Barnosky, Jonathan Foley, Rong Fu, Marika M. Holland, M. Susan Lozier, Johanna Schmitt, Laurence C. Smith, George Sugihara, David W. J. Thompson, Andrew J. Weaver, Steven C. Wofsy, National Academy of Sciences, Dec. 3, 2013)

Also discussed here: An Update on Risks of Abrupt Jolts from Global Warming (Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times, Dot Earth, Dec. 3, 2013)

And here: Investigation of the Magnitudes and Probabilities of Abrupt Climate TransitionS (IMPACTS) Project (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Today we review an assessment of climate change in terms of how far it has advanced and what the risk is of crossing a tipping point, in terms of climate impacts for the rest of the century. The authors give a low risk of major changes in ocean current circulation and overturning, the melting of major ice sheets such as the polar ice caps as low, while giving a moderate risk to such impacts as extreme heat waves and floods and rapid state changes in ecosystems which puts vulnerable populations of people in danger as well as endangered species of wildlife. They recommend improved scientific monitoring and a better understanding of the climate system as part of an abrupt change early warning system.

arctic sea ice extent

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

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