What are tipping points, A Word with dr H, Dec 2021

What are tipping points, and why should we be concerned? BBC Earth did a 5-minute YouTube video on the facts around tipping points. Scientists identify some of the reasons we need to pay attention to sudden climatic shifts and what it could mean for the world at large. For example, 600 million people live in areas within 10 meters of sea level. They could potential be climate refugees. A little bit of extra warming can also cause irreversible changes. Greenland and W Antarctica could see major melting and sea level rise, the AMOC could slow, irreversibly changing global temperatures (i.e., hotter, drier conditions in parts of the world, and colder conditions with flooding in others), while rainforests could turn into savannas, removing some of the most important carbon sinks in the world, further contributing to increasing global temperatures. What is not discussed in this video is the effect of the climate on pollinators and biodiversity, where we are losing hundreds of species every day in what some scientists are referring to as a human induced 6th extinction event. Tipping points could worsen this situation, and are potential risks we face if we do not act in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner to address our climate emergency. You would not get into a car without a seat belt. The risk of an accident may be low, but you protect yourself, nevertheless. Climate tipping points are a similar analogy. They may not happen, but if they do, the consequences will be multiplied many fold, rapidly worsening environmental conditions. We need to be prepared.

The Tipping Point