CL4.16.2 Media

Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system are continental-scale subsystems that are characterized by a threshold behavior. It has been suggested that these include biosphere components (e.g. the Amazon rainforest and coral reefs), cryosphere components (e.g. the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets) and large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations (e.g. the thermohaline circulation, ENSO and Indian summer monsoon). Once operating near a threshold or tipping point, these components can transgress into a qualitatively different state by small external perturbations. The large-scale environmental consequences could impact the livelihoods of millions of people.

In this session, we aim to bring together experts presenting and discussing the state-of-the-art research on tipping elements in the Earth's climate system, both in empirical data and numerical modelling of past, present and future climate. Among other topics, issues to be addressed in this session include critical thresholds for specific tipping elements, typical time scales of tipping, interactions and feedbacks between tipping elements, the potential for tipping cascades as well as environmental and socio-economic impacts of tipping.

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Co-organized as AS4.64/BG1.69/CR1.15/NP1.7/OS1.35
Convener: Ricarda Winkelmann | Co-conveners: Victor Brovkin, Henk A. Dijkstra, Jonathan Donges, Timothy Lenton
Orals
| Tue, 09 Apr, 14:00–18:00
 
Room 0.49
Posters
| Attendance Tue, 09 Apr, 10:45–12:30
 
Hall X5

Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system are continental-scale subsystems that are characterized by a threshold behavior. It has been suggested that these include biosphere components (e.g. the Amazon rainforest and coral reefs), cryosphere components (e.g. the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets) and large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations (e.g. the thermohaline circulation, ENSO and Indian summer monsoon). Once operating near a threshold or tipping point, these components can transgress into a qualitatively different state by small external perturbations. The large-scale environmental consequences could impact the livelihoods of millions of people.

In this session, we aim to bring together experts presenting and discussing the state-of-the-art research on tipping elements in the Earth's climate system, both in empirical data and numerical modelling of past, present and future climate. Among other topics, issues to be addressed in this session include critical thresholds for specific tipping elements, typical time scales of tipping, interactions and feedbacks between tipping elements, the potential for tipping cascades as well as environmental and socio-economic impacts of tipping.