Tipping Elements – big risks in the Earth System

1 February 2024

Climate tipping elements are critical, large-scale components of the Earth system, which are characterized by a threshold behaviour. These systems appear to remain stable with increasing global temperature, but starting at a particular global temperature threshold, very small additional disturbances can ‘tip’ them into a qualitatively new state. If you imagine a valuable vase that initially remains standing while the table is being tilted. At first nothing happens; then the slightest vibration is enough for it to tip over.

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