Has the climate reached an ultimate tipping point?

Turning points in nature

Severe weather, thawing arctic ice and wildfires. With global warming, these effects can be irreversible. These are the so-called tipping points in climate. This is explicitly stated in the IPCC report. According to ecologist Marten Scheffer, the principle of “tipping points” can be seen in nature, climate and even society.

At the tipping point, a relatively small change has a relatively large impact, and the climate can end up in a different state of equilibrium, with all the attendant problems. The classic example is Dutch surface waters. Many ditches and pools are usually either clear, with many aquatic vegetation, or cloudy with lots of algae. The transition from clear to cloudy can occur if the amount of fertilizer in the water increases to the point where the tipping point is reached. Then one of the “clear systems” suddenly jumps to another “cloudy system”. Once the puddle becomes cloudy, it is difficult to reverse.

Marten Scheffer was awarded the prestigious Spinoza Prize in 2009 for his research into abrupt changes in complex systems such as nature, climate, and even society.

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