The Scariest Climate Science Paper I’ve Ever Read?

This month a paper came out that honestly chilled me. It was about tipping points in climate - a well-known concept that the climate can change abruptly if certain conditions are met in certain elements of the climate system, such as excess melting of the Greenland ice sheet. That wasn't new. What was new was the threshold these tipping elements could flip - according to this research, we could be triggering some tipping elements already - and if we warm the planet by just 1.5°C then we are likely to do so.

The climate is still within our control. But if we keep emitting as we are, that isn't always going to be the case.

Every. Tenth. Of. A. Degree. Counts.

This new paper from McKay et al showed that there isn't a neat relationship between cumulative carbon emissions and global warming - there can be step changes thanks to internal variability, rapidly pushing the Earth into different climates. In this video I talk about climate tipping points, how some are already possible today, and will become likely at just 1.5C of warming.


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