A “tipping point” is when a system, with just a small amount of additional energy, is pushed from one stable state to another suddenly and dramatically. This can be a chair falling backwards. Or it can be a major earth system collapsing.
The IPCC recently identified 15 potential climate-related tipping points that scientists have grown increasingly worried we are getting close to crossing due to global warming.
In this episode of Weathered, we look at 6 of the major candidates, how they are all interconnected and influence each other, and what it would mean if they were triggered. These tipping points or tipping elements are the
- Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
- The Amazon rainforest
- Global monsoons
- The AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation)
- The earth’s permafrost
- Coral reefs
The consequences for any of these systems being pushed over the edge would be truly catastrophic and would encompass everything from massive droughts, loss of biodiversity, increased flooding, heat waves, large scale climate migration, food shortages, and much more. Weathered is a show hosted by weather expert Maiya May and produced by Balance Media that helps explain the most common natural disasters, what causes them, how they’re changing, and what we can do to prepare.