EGU22-12438, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Updated assessment suggests >1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points

David Armstrong McKay1,2,3, Arie Staal1,2,4, Jesse Abrams3, Ricarda Winkelmann5, Boris Sakschewski5, Sina Loriani5, Ingo Fetzer1,2, Sarah Cornell1,2, Johan Rockström1,5, and Timothy Lenton3
David Armstrong McKay et al.
  • 1Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • 4Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 5Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany

Climate tipping points occur when change in a part of the climate system becomes self-perpetuating beyond a forcing threshold, leading to abrupt and/or irreversible impacts. Synthesizing paleoclimate, observational, and model-based studies, we provide a revised shortlist of global ‘core’ tipping elements and regional ‘impact’ tipping elements and their temperature thresholds. Current global warming of ~1.1°C above pre-industrial already lies within the lower end of some tipping point uncertainty ranges. Several more tipping points may be triggered in the Paris Agreement range of 1.5-2°C global warming, with many more likely at the 2-3°C of warming expected on current policy trajectories. In further work we use these estimates to test the potential for and impact of tipping cascades in response to global warming scenarios using a stylised model. This strengthens the evidence base for urgent action to mitigate climate change and to develop improved tipping point risk assessment, early warning capability, and adaptation strategies.


How to cite: Armstrong McKay, D., Staal, A., Abrams, J., Winkelmann, R., Sakschewski, B., Loriani, S., Fetzer, I., Cornell, S., Rockström, J., and Lenton, T.: Updated assessment suggests >1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12438,, 2022.


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