Climate, United Nations Climate Summit | New report: We are on the verge of five catastrophic turning points

Climate, United Nations Climate Summit |  New report: We are on the verge of five catastrophic turning points

A turning point is, in short, the changes that lead to transformation. In the climate context, a tipping point means that global warming changes the Earth’s climate system from one stable state to another. Changes can happen quickly and are irreversible.

The consequences of turning points can be positive or negative.

new a report It warns that a threshold of up to five tipping points in the Earth’s climate system is about to be crossed. Three other systems are at risk of reaching a tipping point in the 2030s if global warming is not significantly curbed.

The Global Critical Points Report was launched in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Summit (Cop 28) being held in Dubai these days.

Professor Tim Linton from the Exeter Institute for Global Systems is one of the lead authors behind the report. Climate scientist Jan Vogelstveit was present in Dubai when Linton presented the findings at the climate conference on Wednesday.

“You reach a certain point where you cross a threshold where it is very difficult or impossible to come back within a normal timescale,” Vogelstedt tells Netavisen.

– Tim Linton used a four-legged stool to illustrate the turning point. The chair stood and rocked back and forth, until it tipped over to the other end. Then the chair cannot be tilted back. “So it’s a very visual concept,” Vogelstedt says.

Fuglestvedt is a research leader at CICERO (Centre for Climate Research) and a member of the UN Climate Panel (IPCC).

– Are critical points an exact science, Vogelstveit?

– We have a definition in the climate panel, but we consider it to be sudden and irreversible changes. We don’t have many references to the term ‘tipping point’, so we didn’t reach any strong conclusions in the UN climate report, partly due to a lack of published literature. Now more literature has arrived. He says this is a very popular topic.

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Vogelstveit leads the leadership of the Climate Committee, as one of the deputy leaders of the Working Group on Emissions Reduction and Absorption.

Five catastrophic turning points

The purpose of the report is to assess the risks and opportunities associated with negative and positive turning points in the Earth’s climate systems.

The increase in global temperatures will not necessarily be widespread even if critical point limits are exceeded, but in many cases it will cause irreparable damage to both humans and nature.

The report confirms that humanity is on a catastrophic path, and identifies five catastrophic turning points in Earth’s climate systems that we are about to cross.

  1. Collapse of the Greenland ice sheet.
  2. Collapse of the West Antarctica ice sheet.
  3. Widespread thaw of permafrost.
  4. Coral reefs disappear in warmer waters.
  5. Collapse of atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic.

“These threats may materialize in the coming decades, with lower levels of global warming than previously thought,” the report warns.

The report said the consequences of unstable Antarctic ice sheets could lead to a potential sea level rise of two meters by 2100. This could expose nearly half a billion people to annual flooding events along the coast.

While thawing permafrost will contribute significantly to global warming, according to the report, it is already damaging property and infrastructure. 70 percent of infrastructure in areas with permafrost is located in areas where there is a high probability of permafrost melting by 2050.

If the Greenland ice sheet melts, it could lead to sudden changes in the Atlantic ocean circulation system (Atlantic overturning circulation).

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This ocean current provides most of the heat in the Gulf Stream. This, in turn, could strengthen the El Niño cycle, which is one of the world’s most powerful weather systems.

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Phasing out fossil energy

The Tipping Point Report also recommends concrete measures to avoid catastrophic tipping points, including phasing out fossil energy.

Research leader Stephen Kalpekin at CICERO (Centre for Climate Research) is also in Dubai and is following the climate negotiations closely. He says phasing out fossil energy may be the most controversial decision at this year’s climate summit.

-We are working on the biggest theme of the year, which is “». There have been some constructive conversations, but this is a very long document and it will be a tough race to get it through. Phasing out fossil energy is still on the table, Kalpekin tells Netavicin.

– In the text of the resolution, “no text” is one of the options for phasing out fossil energy. There is no doubt that there are many oil-producing countries that want “no text” in the text of the resolution regarding the global review. It’s not a given that this will be the outcome, but it’s also not an unlikely outcome, says Kalpikin.

Professor Tim Linton, associated with the University of Exeter, says in a statement that tipping points in the Earth’s climate systems pose threats on a scale that humanity has never faced before.

– It could lead to devastating domino effects, including the loss of entire ecosystems and the ability to grow staple foods, as well as social consequences such as mass flight, political instability and economic collapse, he says.

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The report was prepared by a group of 200 international researchers. The research is funded by the Bezos Land Fund.

Three other vulnerable systems are at risk of reaching a tipping point after 2030.

Mangrove forests and seagrass are expected to die in some areas when temperatures rise to between 1.5 and 2 degrees.

Boreal conifer forests could already be affected by a 1.4 degree warming.

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Positive turning points

The researchers in the report believe that we can benefit from positive turning points to get on the right track.

– As we cross the tipping point where electric vehicles become the dominant alternative in road transport, battery technology will continue to get better and cheaper, says Professor Steve Smith from the University of Exeter in a statement.

– This in turn could lead to further turning points in the use of batteries to store renewable energy, which in turn further promotes the use of heat pumps in our homes, and so on.

There are many areas in our society that could be “tilted” in this way, including politics, social norms and mindsets, he says.

The Climate Action Tracker estimates that the 2030 climate goals pave the way for a 2.5 degree increase in global temperature by the end of this century, he wrote. Watchman.

This is something very different from the difficult target of a 1.5 degree increase compared to pre-industrial levels.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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