A tipping point is a concept of a point in time when the global climate changes from one stable state to another. This may happen in a relatively short time, maybe even within a decade. A tipping point occurs when e.g. a glass of water is tipping over, and a quick transformation to another state occurs. The tipping event is as a rule of thumb irreversible, like the spilled water cannot easily be put back into the glass.
Examples of tipping points associated with global warming are the slowing down of the Gulf Stream and that the warming of the Arctic could destabilise methane trapped in ocean sediments and permafrost, in turn leading to a rapid release of a large amount of methane.
There are good reasons for optimism. But there are also signs that we are in a hurry. We risk passing one or more tipping points and getting a runaway climate change
“The deceit behind the attempts to discredit evidence of climate change reveals matters of importance. This deceit has a clear purpose: to confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change. The danger is that delay will cause tipping points to be passed, such that large climate impacts become inevitable, including the loss of all Arctic sea ice, destabilization of the West Antarctic ice sheet with disastrous sea level rise later this century, and extermination of a large fraction of animal and plant species.
Make no doubt, however, if tipping points are passed, if we, in effect, destroy Creation, passing on to our children, grandchildren, and the unborn a situation out of their control, the contrarians who work to deny and confuse will not be the principal culprits. The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present. They will continue to entertain even if the Titanic begins to take on water. Their role and consequence is only as a diversion from what is important. The real deal is this: the ‘royalty’ controlling the court, the ones with the power, the ones with the ability to make a difference, with the ability to change our course, the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil, automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children. The court jesters are their jesters, occasionally paid for services, and more substantively supported by the captains’ disinformation campaigns.” http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20070816_realdeal.pdf
Dr James Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Institute
- Science and Politics Clash as Humanity Nears Climate Change Tipping Point
- Has the puzzle of rapid climate change in the last ice age been solved? New report published in Nature shows that small variations in the climate system can result in dramatic temperature changes
- Buckle Up: Scientists Warn of Dozens of Global Warming Tipping Points That Could Trigger Natural Disasters
- Ocean Tipping Point?
- Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries (NYT, March 2016)
- Subpolar North Atlantic Program
- 18 Signs That Show We’ve Reached the Tipping Point (Dec 2016)
- Drastic cooling in North Atlantic beyond worst fears, scientists warn (Feb 2017)
- SWERUS-C3: First observations of methane release from Arctic Ocean hydrates
- Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian Sea
- Dahr Jamail – The Methane Monster Roars
- Climate apocalypse is here now: science fiction has become our new reality
- Domes of frozen methane may be warning signs for new blow-outs (June 2017)
Rapid ice sheet decline
- Record decline of ice sheets: For the first time scientists map elevation changes of Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers
- Greenland Ice Sheet more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought (Sept 2014)
- Greenland Ice Sheet more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought
- They Took A Camera To A Remote Area In Greenland, And What They Recorded Is Simply Terrifying
- Valerie N. Livina, Timothy M. Lenton (2013). “A recent tipping point in the Arctic sea-ice cover: abrupt and persistent increase in the seasonal cycle since 2007”.
- Arctic Melting Defies Scientists (Sep 2016)
- 19 Climate Tipping Points Occurring in the Arctic (Nov 2016)
- Thawing Permafrost: the Arctic’s Slow, Giant Carbon Release
Rainforests drying up
Rapid sea level rise
- Changing Antarctic waters could trigger steep rise in sea levels, conditions 14,000 years ago suggest
- Earth’s Oceans Heating Up Much Faster Than Scientists Expected
Ocean currents change
- Global Warming Is Slowing Ocean Currents Causing Dire Consequences, Warns Climate Expert Michael Mann
- Hansen, J. (2016) Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms Video Abstract
- Hansen, J. (2016) Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: The Threat of Irreparable Harm – Transcript
- Potential for Collapse of Key Atlantic Current Rises Two new studies suggests the Atlantic Ocean current may be more likely to substantially slow down, or possibly collapse, because of global warming than previously thought
- What scientific evidence do we have that abrupt climate change has happened before?
Reduced oxygen production
- Failing phytoplankton, failing oxygen: Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth (Science Daily, Dec 2015)
- Spaceship Earth, Your Main Oxygen Systems Are Collapsing (Jan 2017)
Giant holes in Siberia
- Giant Holes in Siberia Are Evidence of Runaway Climate Change, Scientists Say.
- The Really Scary Thing About Those Jaw-Dropping Siberian Craters
- Study of huge Siberian craters shows Giant Pool of Methane below them (Nov 2015)
- Scientists Demand Investigation After More Mysterious Holes Appear In Siberia
- New Theory Behind Dozens of Craters Found in Siberia
|Home||Chapter 3||3. Impacts|
|3.1 More water vapor|
|3.2 Sea level rise|
|3.3 Polar sea ice|
|3.4 Air pollution|
|3.7 Extreme weather|
|3.9 Refugees and conflicts|
|3.11 Tipping points|
|Chapter 4||4. Ecosystems|