The Amazon rainforest and the massive ice sheets are threatened by global warming. Many tipping points triggered a lot by increasing temperatures could put us face to face with a catastrophic change in Earth’s climate system.
So far, scientists focused on temperature and timing. But, how much warming till each tipping point will fully activate?
Here is what you need to know.
Controlling Tipping Points and Avoiding Disasters
In a new paper, a team of researchers discussed how we might finally be able to “control” the tipping points via a period of grace.
As per their findings, it’s somehow possible to overshoot tipping point thresholds without triggering any other issues, such as permanent or abrupt climate change. But there’s a condition: the overshot must be for a short period. How so?
Apparently, a period of grace exists that could allow us to avoid tipping.
The new paper includes four parts of the climate system, the monsoons, the Amazon basin, ice sheets, and the ocean conveyor belt of current that triggers warm and cold water worldwide (the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC).
Tough Climate Shifts
Peter Cox, the senior author of the paper, released a statement explaining:
“The slow timescale of some of the most worrying tipping points gives us a better chance of reversing global warming before we tip into a less favourable world.”
However, as crucial as timing could be, it doesn’t matter for the Amazon forest dieback and disruption of the monsoon, because it’s already too late. The region could quickly shift into a new state within decades, mainly due to massive deforestation.
The recent research comes in help, offering us a complete picture of what could it be, the slow dying of Earth. But, it also supports our expectations of when such harsh climate shifts could turn into some extremely damaging, permanent situations.
We need to raise climate change awareness and support scientists’ work.