What you (might have) missed at Europe's biggest Earth sciences conference
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What you (might have) missed at Europe's biggest Earth sciences conference

Hot topics on tipping points that occupy climate scientists were discussed at a multidisciplinary session hosted by ClimTip at the at the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union.

This year ClimTip hosted a multidisciplinary session on Tipping Points in the Earth System at the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria.

Tipping Points in the Earth System

Convener: Niklas Boers | Co-conveners: Ricarda Winkelmann, Anna von der Heydt, Timothy Lenton

Orals | Tue, 16 Apr, 16:15–17:55 (CEST) Room N2

Posters on site | Attendance Tue, 16 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST) | Display Tue, 16 Apr, 08:30–12:30 Hall X4

What is it about

Several subsystems of the Earth have been suggested to possibly react abruptly at critical levels of anthropogenic forcing. Examples of such potential Tipping Elements include the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the polar ice sheets, tropical and boreal forests, as well as the tropical monsoon systems. Interactions between the different Tipping Elements may either have stabilizing or destabilizing effects on the other subsystems, potentially leading to cascades of abrupt transitions. The critical forcing levels at which abrupt transitions occur have recently been associated with Tipping Points.

It is paramount to determine the critical forcing levels (and the associated uncertainties) beyond which the systems in question will abruptly change their state, with potentially devastating climatic, ecological, and societal impacts. For this purpose, we need to substantially enhance our understanding of the dynamics of the Tipping Elements and their interactions, on the basis of paleoclimatic evidence, present-day observations, and models spanning the entire hierarchy of complexity. Moreover, to be able to mitigate - or prepare for - potential future transitions, early warning signals have to be identified and monitored in both observations and models.

This multidisciplinary session invites contributions that address Tipping Points in the Earth system from the different perspectives of all relevant disciplines, including

  • The mathematical theory of abrupt transitions in (random) dynamical systems
  • Paleoclimatic studies of past abrupt transitions
  • Data-driven and process-based modelling of past and future transitions
  • Methods to anticipate critical transitions from data
  • The implications of abrupt transitions for climate sensitivity and response
  • Ecological and socioeconomic impacts
  • Decision theory in the presence of uncertain Tipping Point estimates and uncertain impacts

Oral presentations: Tue, 16 Apr | Room N2

Chairpersons: Niklas Boers, Ricarda Winkelmann

16:15–16:25 | EGU24-18039 | On-site presentation

Methodologies for climate tipping points analysis and risk assessments in TIPMIP

Jonathan F. Donges, Donovan P. Dennis, Sina Loriani, Boris Sakschewski, Nico Wunderling, and Ricarda Winkelmann

16:25–16:35 | EGU24-5870 | ECS | Virtual presentation

Uncertainties too large to predict tipping times of major Earth system components

Maya Ben Yami, Andreas Morr, Sebastian Bathiany, and Niklas Boers

16:35–16:45 | EGU24-8618 | On-site presentation

Uncertainty quantification for overshoots of tipping thresholds

Paul Ritchie and Kerstin Lux-Gottschalk

16:45–16:55 | EGU24-12295 | ECS | On-site presentation

Analysis of Abrupt Changes in CMIP6 Models Using Edge Detection

Sjoerd Terpstra, Swinda K.J. Falkena, Robbin Bastiaansen, Sebastian Bathiany, Henk A. Dijkstra, and Anna von der Heydt

16:55–17:05 | EGU24-18045 | ECS | On-site presentation

Tipping cascades, future Earth system trajectories and the prospect of a hothouse: insights from the SURFER model

Victor Couplet, Marina Martínez Montero, and Michel Crucifix

17:05–17:15 | EGU24-12187 | ECS | On-site presentation

Anticipating rate-induced tipping by a deep learning framework

Yu Huang, Sebastian Bathiany, Peter Ashwin, and Niklas Boers

17:15–17:25 | EGU24-5998 | ECS | On-site presentation

North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre Deep Convection: A Tipping Point Reached Decades Ago?

Joas Müller, Giuseppe Zappa, and Alessio Bellucci

17:25–17:35 | EGU24-3874 | ECS | On-site presentation

Impact of future Greenland ice sheet melt on the stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Frerk Pöppelmeier and Thomas F. Stocker

17:35–17:45 | EGU24-11804 | ECS | On-site presentation

Origin in of the AMOC fresh water transport biases in a state-of-the-art climate model

Elian Vanderborght, Henk Dijkstra, and René Westen

17:45–17:55 | EGU24-4021 | ECS | On-site presentation

Optimal Transition Paths for AMOC Collapse and Recovery in a Stochastic Box Model

Jelle Soons, Tobias Grafke, and Henk A. Dijkstra