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Tuesday 16 Nov 2021Networks of interacting tipping elements: cascading transitions in the Earth's climate system

Nico Wunderling - Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research Meeting ID: 981 2853 5238 Password: 561487 13:30-14:30

With progressing global warming, there is an increased risk that one or several climate tipping elements might cross a critical threshold, resulting in severe consequences for the global climate, ecosystems and human societies. Recently, the focus of discussion has shifted from individual tipping elements to the interactions between tipping elements. To investigate the risk of tipping cascades in networks of interacting tipping elements, the python package “pycascades” has been developed, making use of methods from complex dynamical systems and network theory. After an introduction of “pycascades”, we will dive into two different systems of interacting tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system. We will assess the risk for the emergence of tipping cascades in (i) the Amazon rainforest with respect to droughts and (ii) a small subset of four interacting tipping elements with respect to global warming. These four tipping elements are the Greenland Ice Sheet, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and the Amazon rainforest.

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