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20 September 2021 12:00-13:30 CEST

Advancing knowledge on potential tipping elements 

More than 300 participants from academia, policymaking, and the general public attended the first event in the new discussion series on tipping points, convened by  AIMES, Earth Commission, Future Earth, and The WCRP Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity. They also brainstormed on future research questions and knowledge gaps (MIRO board).


  • An update on tipping elements in the climate system Timothy Lenton
  • Extreme events in a changing climate: Insights from the IPCC AR6 – Sonia Seneviratne
  • Q&A/ Discussion

Moderated by Ricarda Winkelmann (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Earth Commissioner) and Steven Sherwood (University of New South Wales on behalf of WCRP).The introductory event also outlined the Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project (TipMip) to support efforts for increasing consistency in the treatment of tipping elements in the scientific community.

The recording of this event is provided below.

Expressions of interest for the TipMip can be submitted here.

Back to full event series overview.

All you need to know

This event is part of a series of online discussions aims to advance the knowledge about tipping elements, irreversibility, and abrupt changes in the Earth system. It supports efforts to increase consistency in treatment of tipping elements in the scientific community, develop a research agenda, and design joint experiments and ideas for a Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project (TipMip).

This discussion series is a joint activity of the Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) global research project of Future Earth, the Earth Commission Working Group 1 Earth and Human Systems Intercomparison Modelling Project (EHSMIP) under the Global Commons Alliance and the Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity of World Climate Research Program (WCRP).

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Prof. Tim Lenton
Climate System Dynamics in Mathematics at the University of Exeter

Tim Lenton is the Director of the Global Systems Institute and Chair in Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter. He is an Earth Commissioner working on tipping points, climate and modelling. Tim and his group at Exeter focus on understanding the Earth as a system, modelling evolution, ecology, and biogeochemistry, providing early warning of climate tipping points, and identifying positive tipping points towards sustainability. This integrated view of our living planet is captured in his books ‘Revolutions that made the Earth’ with Andrew Watson (OUP, 2011) and ‘Earth System Science: A Very Short Introduction’ (OUP, 2016).

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Prof. Sonia I. Seneviratne
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science of the ETH Zurich

Sonia Seneviratne is professor at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science of the ETH Zurich and is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Sonia was a lead author of the IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (2018) and a coordinating lead author of the Sixth Assessment Report (2021).  She worked as postdoctoral researcher at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and she received a PhD in atmospheric and climate science from ETH Zurich in 2002.

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