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World is close to five climate tipping points: study

World is close to five climate tipping points: study

The planet is on the brink of not one but five disastrous climate tipping points. Once the global temperature rises beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it will trigger those climate tipping points.

According to a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, even the current levels of global heating have put the world dangerously close to those risks. They are also increasing with each tenth of a degree of further warming.

Five of the sixteen tipping points that can be triggered at today's temperature are the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, widespread abrupt permafrost thaw, the collapse of convection in the Labrador Sea, and massive die-off of tropical coral reefs, said the study published in the journal Science.

Scientists are providing strong evidence-backed support for the UN efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The findings reiterate that cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 will give the planet a 50% fighting chance. It will have to reach net zero by 2050.

Lead author Davi Armstrong McKay from Stockholm Resilience Centre, University of Exeter, and the Earth Commission said that the signs of destabilisation are already visible in parts of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, in permafrost regions, the Amazon rainforest, and potentially the Atlantic overturning circulation.

He added that the chance of crossing the tipping points can be reduced rapidly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Findings of the study suggest that Earth has likely already left a safe climate state when the temperatures exceeded approximately 1°C warming. Even the Paris Agreement goal is enough to fully avoid dangerous climate change.

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TAGS:climate changeclimate crisisclimate tipping pointsParis Agreementgreenhouse gases
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