Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

A group of leading scientists have warned
that more than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active”. This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest
and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing
measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected. This “cascade” of changes sparked by global
warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations. Evidence is mounting that these events are
more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible
domino effect. In an article in the journal Nature, the scientists
call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent key tipping points,
warning of a worst-case scenario of a “hothouse”, less habitable planet. Scientifically, this provides strong evidence
for declaring a state of planetary emergency, to unleash world action that accelerates the
path towards a world that can continue evolving on a stable planet. In the commentary, the authors propose a formal
way to calculate a planetary emergency as risk multiplied by urgency. Tipping point risks are now much higher than
earlier estimates, while urgency relates to how fast it takes to act to reduce risk. Exiting the fossil fuel economy is unlikely
before 2050, but with temperature already at 1.1°C above pre-industrial temperature,
it is likely Earth will cross the 1.5°C guardrail by 2040. The authors conclude this alone defines an
emergency. Nine active tipping points are, Arctic sea ice,
Greenland ice sheet, Boreal forests,
Permafrost, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation,
Amazon rainforest, Warm-water corals,
West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and Parts of East Antarctica, The collapse of major ice sheets on Greenland,
West Antarctica and part of East Antarctica would commit the world to around 10 metres
of irreversible sea-level rise. Reducing emissions could slow this process,
allowing more time for low-lying populations to move. The rainforests, permafrost and boreal forests
are examples of biosphere tipping points that if crossed result in the release of additional
greenhouse gases amplifying warming. Though global temperatures have fluctuated
over millions of years, the authors say humans are now “forcing the system”, with atmospheric
carbon dioxide concentration and global temperature increasing at rates that are an order of magnitude
higher than at the end of the last ice age.

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3 thoughts on “Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

  1. Nothing short of persuading or making China go lights out and back to the Stone Age will save the human race, IF the climate models are correct.

    China will, of course not be persuaded. So the only way of making China comply is for the United States and Russia to destroy China with nuclear weapons.

    However, nuclear war with China isn't realistic, so it looks as though we're to kiss our asses goodbye.

  2. This is all about controlling the masses. A 9” sea-level rise in 100 yeas is not a crisis. A snail could run away. These types of doom prophets used to have to all stand on the same street. Y2K? 2012? Multiple second comings? The year 1000? What exactly is the proper mean temperature of the earth? Is it warmer? It has been warmer before and, surprise, its still here. If this “crisis” destroys mankind, the earth won’t care and life will prevail until the sun recedes enough for the planet to no longer be in the goldilocks zone.

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