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Climate Tipping Points

Climate Tipping Points:

According to a major study, the climate crisis has driven the world to the brink of multiple “disastrous” tipping points.

  • Climate Tipping Points or CTPs are markers of a larger climate system which when triggered beyond a threshold, perpetuates warming on its own.
  • According to the Study, five dangerous tipping points may already have been passed due to the 1.1 o C of global heating caused by humanity to date.
  • These include the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap, eventually producing a huge sea level rise, the collapse of a key current in the north Atlantic, disrupting rain upon which billions of people depend for food, and an abrupt melting of carbon-rich permafrost.
  • At 1.5o C, five tipping points become possible, including changes to vast northern forests and the loss of almost all mountain glaciers, the die-off of tropical coral reefs and changes to the west African monsoon.
  • In total, the researchers found evidence for 16 tipping points, with the final six requiring global heating of at least 2o C to be triggered.
  • The tipping points would take effect on timescales varying from a few years to centuries.
  • At more than 2o C, the nine global tipping points identified are the collapse of Greenland, West Antarctic, and two parts of the east Antarctic ice sheets, the partial and total collapse of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), Amazon dieback, permafrost collapse and winter sea ice loss in the Arctic.
  • Other potential tipping points still being studied include the loss of ocean oxygen and major shifts in the Indian summer monsoon.