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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency


Tipping Points in the Earth System

North Atlantic Ocean (NASA).2
Shutterstock: 735625570

There is rising concern that several subsystems of the Earth may respond in a strong non-linear way at critical  levels of anthropogenic forcing, reaching points of no-return, the so-called tipping points.

TiPES focuses on the urgent need to examine critical forcing levels at which subsystems of the Earth have changed in the past and may change in current times, improve the modelling of abrupt transitions and provide an estimate of stability ranges of desirable states.

The aim of this H2020-funded project is therefore to contribute to better prediction of possible future abrupt changes caused by anthropogenic global warming, clarifying what crossing the tipping points means from the socio-economic point of view and helping policymakers plan strategies to remain in the safe operating spaces  for humanity and the Planet, avoiding the no-return zone.

This is paramount to prevent harmful transitions to undesirable states of the Earth system. For this purpose, effective models of prediction for Earth system's tipping points are key to better quantify the potential tipping elements present in the climate system, how close they are and to ensure they are part of the climate models for accurate and reliable projections.

TiPES has been featured in Cordis magazine as "project of the month" at the end of September 2021.



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