Tipping Positive Change to Avoid Climate Tipping Points

  • Start  Thursday 14 Nov 2019 12:30pm
  • Finish    Thursday 14 Nov 2019 2:00pm
  • Venue  Oxford Martin School

Climate change has advanced to the point where we are already triggering damaging environmental tipping points – how can we stop this?

Tipping points exist in social, ecological and climate systems and those systems are increasingly causally intertwined in the Anthropocene. Climate change and biosphere degradation haveadvanced to the point where we are already triggering damaging environmental tipping points, and to avoid worse ones ahead will require finding and triggering positive tipping points towards sustainability in coupled social, ecological and technological systems.


Prof Tim Lenton, University of Exeter

To help with that Tim outlines how tipping points can occur in continuous dynamical systems and in networks, the causal interactions that can occur between tipping events acrossdifferent types and scales of system – including the conditions required to trigger tipping cascades, the potential for early warning signals of tipping points, and how they could inform deliberate tipping of positive change. In particular, the same methods that can provide early warning of damaging environmental tipping points can be used to detect when a socio-technical or socio-ecological system is most sensitive to being deliberately tipped in a desirable direction. Tim provides some example targets for such deliberate tipping of positive change.

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