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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Early warning of climate tipping points Event

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
15 July 2011
Venue:
Building 85, Room 2209

Event details

A climate ‘tipping point’ occurs when a small change in forcing triggers a strongly non-linear response in the internal dynamics of a part of the climate system, qualitatively changing its future state. Human-induced climate change could push several large-scale ‘tipping elements’ past a tipping point. Candidates include irreversible melt of the Greenland ice sheet, dieback of the Amazon rainforest, or collapse of the West African monsoon. Recent assessments give an increased probability of future tipping events, and the corresponding impacts are estimated to be large, making them significant risks. However, recent work shows that early warning of an approaching climate tipping point is possible in principle, and could have considerable value in reducing the risk they pose. I will give examples of early warning signals in paleo-climate data approaching past abrupt transitions, in models being gradually forced past tipping points, and in recent observational data from the Arctic and North Atlantic regions.

http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Timothy_Lenton

Professor Timothy Lenton

Complex Systems Simulation Seminar Series (CS^4)

from the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, the Complexity in Real-World Contexts USRG, and the Computational Modelling Group.

Speaker

Professor Tim Lenton
Chair in Climate Change/Earth Systems Science

VIDEO HERE: Coursecast Panopto Link

Abstract

A climate ‘tipping point' occurs when a small change in forcing triggers a strongly non-linear response in the internal dynamics of a part of the climate system, qualitatively changing its future state. Human-induced climate change could push several large-scale ‘tipping elements' past a tipping point. Candidates include irreversible melt of the Greenland ice sheet, dieback of the Amazon rainforest, or collapse of the West African monsoon. Recent assessments give an increased probability of future tipping events, and the corresponding impacts are estimated to be large, making them significant risks. However, recent work shows that early warning of an approaching climate tipping point is possible in principle, and could have considerable value in reducing the risk they pose. I will give examples of early warning signals in paleo-climate data approaching past abrupt transitions, in models being gradually forced past tipping points, and in recent observational data from the Arctic and North Atlantic regions.

Refreshments

Available from 3:30pm, lecture starts at 4pm.

Complex Systems Simulation Seminar Series

For the complete CS^4 schedule please click here: http://www.interdisciplinary.soton.ac.uk/cs4.html

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