The World Daily
Climate tipping point may come sooner than anticipated

Ice melt in Antarctica and Greenland drives changes to sea level and temperature, sparking off rapid changes to other climate systems..Photo:Shutterstock


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | JUNE 24th 2021 


According to a leaked draft report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the more devastating and troubling effects of climate change may rear their heads sooner than expected – within a time frame of 30 years, even if countries manage to tame their emission rates.

The report, which is to be fully presented in stages in the coming year, expressed some major concerns that may come to fruition if urgent action is not taken immediately. The majority of these concerns revolve around irrevocable tipping points triggered by global warming, which may be hit before 2050 – the time period by which the majority of countries are setting their ‘net-zero’ targets to, to fully cut harmful emissions.

It is after these tipping points are passed that total recovery from climate change may become impossible, according to the study which had been leaked to Agence France-Presse (AFP), who’d reported the findings on Thursday.

“Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems … humans cannot,” the report warns.

These discussed ‘tipping-points’ refer to certain triggers that are reached when the global climate and temperature reaches a certain high level. Examples of such tipping points include the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic, which will lead to the release of certain harmful emissions that only further add to the climate crisis – creating a potentially dangerous issue that continuously feeds itself.

“Scientists have identified several potential regional and global thresholds or tipping points in the climate beyond which impacts become unstoppable or irreversible, or accelerate,” said the policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, Bob Ward. “They could create huge social and economic responses, such as population displacements and conflict, and so represent the largest potential risks of climate change.”

He added: “Tipping points should be the climate change impacts about which policymakers worry the most, but they are often left out of assessments by scientists and economists because they are difficult to quantify.”


Other potentially disastrous tipping points which may come regardless of how well countries manage to curb greenhouse gas emissions include the melting of glaciers and ice caps, which would lead to the irrevocable rise in global sea levels. The threat of the Amazon rainforest, often called the ‘lungs of the world,’ turning into a Savannah is also a deadly possibility without more immediate action.

“Nothing in the IPCC report should be a surprise, as all the information comes from the scientific literature,” said a professor of global change science at University College London, Simon Lewis. “But put together, the stark message from the IPCC is that increasingly severe heatwaves, fires, floods and droughts are coming our way with dire impacts for many countries.”

He added: “On top of this are some irreversible changes, often called tipping points, such as where high temperatures and droughts mean parts of the Amazon rainforest can’t persist. These tipping points may then link, like toppling dominoes.”

AFP stated that the IPCC draft report had gone into detail about 12 potential tipping points which may be met within 30 years if the appropriate steps are not taken. “The worst is yet to come, affecting our children’s and grandchildren’s lives much more than our own,” wrote the report.

Certain details of the report may change over the coming months, given its draft status, but the major news of the unmistakable and potentially accelerated threat is in no way expected to change. 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021 

Source: The Guardian, Reuters