Potential climate tipping points where rising global atmospheric temperatures could cause irreversible change to the Earth system. Irreversible ice sheet melting (such as on Greenland and Antarctica) would cause a significant sea level rise on the order of ten meters. Permafrost loss would cause an abrupt release of Greenhouse gases (methane and CO2), which amplifies global warming. Breakdown of the Atlantic thermohaline ocean circulation, known as Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), would cause regional cooling. A shift in Boreal forest would equal a significant ecological change and regional warming, whereas an Amazon rainforest dieback causes biodiversity loss and decreased rainfall. Changes in monsoon could lead to drought. A Coral reef die-off is a significant ecological change. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) could reach a permanent El Niño state, which would cause both more floods and droughts.
- Creator: Fabio Crameri
- This version: 21.08.2023
- License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
- Specific citation: This graphic by Fabio Crameri based on Lenton et al. (2019) is available via the open-access s-ink.org repository.
- Related reference: Lenton, T. M., Rockström, J., Gaffney, O., Rahmstorf, S., Richardson, K., Steffen, W., & Schellnhuber, H. J. (2019). Climate tipping points—too risky to bet against. Nature, 575(7784), 592-595.
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