Climate Tipping Points
Insights for Effective Policy Action
This report reviews evidence that overshooting 1.5°C may push the earth over several
tipping points, leading to irreversible and severe changes in the climate system.
If triggered, tipping point impacts will rapidly cascade through socio-economic and
ecological systems, leading to severe effects on human and natural systems and imposing
important challenges for human adaptation. Of particular concern are the likely collapse
of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and the abrupt melting of permafrost
grounds in the Arctic, which would result in additional sea-level rise and greenhouse
gas releases, leading to more warming.
Based on the most recent science and consultations with renowned experts, Climate
Tipping Points: Insights for Effective Policy Action argues that it is no longer appropriate
to consider the risk of crossing tipping points as low-probability. Overshooting 1.5°C
may likely lead to irreversible and severe impacts, which must be avoided, heightening
the urgency to drastically reduce emissions within this decade. The report calls for
a shift in how tipping points are treated in climate policy today and provides recommendations
on how climate risk management strategies can better reflect the risks of tipping
points in the areas of mitigation, adaptation and technological innovation.
Published on December 02, 2022