Earth on brink of FIVE ‘really worrying tipping points

UK weather: Climate change warning issued by expert

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The study by an international team of scientists has warned multiple tipping points may have even already been passed as the world continues to heat up amid the urgent climate crisis. Due to the 1.1 degrees Celsius of global warming, which scientists across the board largely agree is a direct consequence of human activity, the collapse of Greenland’s ice cap could now be inevitable.

This could create huge sea level rise, a real threat to low-lying islands and coastal areas at risk of flooding, while the surging global temperatures also threaten the collapse of a key current in the north Atlantic, another tipping point.

Other tipping points mentioned in the study include disrupting the rainfall which billions of people across the globe need for food. Already over the summer we have seen brutal droughts, from Europe to China which have broken records and resulted in deaths.

Another tipping point is the melting of carbon-rich permafrost, as well as changes to huge northern forests and the loss of nearly every mountain glacier.

Worryingly, the report warns that four of out of five likely tipping points are now expected as a 1.5 degree rise now looms.

With 16 tipping points pinpointed in total, the researchers estimate that the final six would be triggered if the world heats up by 2 degrees Celsius.

But Prof Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who was involved in the study, has warned that the planet is heading in that direction.

He said: “The world is heading towards 2-3 degrees Celsius of global warming.

“This sets Earth on course to cross multiple dangerous tipping points that will be disastrous for people across the world. To maintain liveable conditions on Earth and enable stable societies, we must do everything possible to prevent crossing tipping points.”

The lead author of the study, Dr David Armstrong McKay at the University of Exeter, said: “It’s really worrying. There are grounds for grief, but there are also still grounds for hope.

“The study really underpins why the Paris agreement goal of 1.5C is so important and must be fought for.

“We’re not saying that, because we’re probably going to hit some tipping points, everything is lost and it’s game over. Every fraction of a degree that we stop beyond 1.5C reduces the likelihood of hitting more tipping points.”

This comes after the UN’s international panel of climate scientists, the IPCC issued a “code red” for humanity, warning that the world is on the brink of reaching a point of no return unless action is taken now to limit the temperature rise.

But already, countries around the world are feeling the catastrophic impacts of the changing climate, with more extreme weather events that are proving to be disastrous.

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A third of Pakistan is now underwater due to devastating flooding. This is directly linked to global warming as the hotter temperatures have made air and sea temperatures rise, leading to more evaporation.

As warmer air can hold more moisture, Pakistan’s monsoon rainfall season has become more intense, and experts have said it should be a “wake-up call” to the world.

Pakistan’s Climate minister Sherry Rehman said: “Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we’ve seen in the past.”

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