Global warming is moving our planet’s essential systems toward tipping points, where minuscule changes can produce irrevocable damage. Most scientists agree that a tipping point designates an abrupt change when an environmental system is forced across a threshold from which it can’t recover, causing significant, sometimes permanent destruction. Disappearing glaciers, increased droughts, sea level rise and hotter temperatures are warning signs. The process may take decades or centuries, but once the tipping begins, it can’t be stopped.
About the Author
Robert McSweeney is Carbon Brief’s science editor. He holds an MEng in mechanical engineering from the University of Warwick and an MSc in climate change from the University of East Anglia. He previously spent eight years working on climate change projects at the consultancy firm Atkins.