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Scientists’ warning: a cascade of climate tipping points is possible

The Guardian reports today that researchers, writing in a commentary article in the journal Nature, acknowledge that the complex science of tipping points means great uncertainty remains. But they say the potential damage from the tipping points is so big and the time to act so short, that “to err on the side of danger is not a responsible option”. They call for urgent international action.

The figure below shows that a cascade of tipping points is now possible:

The Guardian also reports that: Prof Tim Lenton at the University of Exeter, the lead author of the article, said: “We might already have crossed the threshold for a cascade of interrelated tipping points. The simple version is the schoolkids [striking for climate action] are right: we are seeing potentially irreversible changes in the climate system underway, or very close.”

CTMfile take: Climate change is a risk management problem. We should not make it worse by air travel, investing in coal mines, etc. But unfortunately, we may, as Phil Williamson from theUniversity of East Anglia points out, “The prognosis by Tim Lenton and colleagues is, unfortunately, fully plausible: that we might have already lost control of the Earth’s climate.” What is your corporate treasury department doing to stop/reverse climate change?

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