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November 28, 2019 - Nature.com

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against
Ice sheet PatagoniaCredit: Wolf Schram

The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions.

Politicians, economists and even some natural scientists have tended to assume that tipping points in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are of low probability and little understood. Yet evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes.

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