In 10 seconds? Current trends suggest that we will overshoot the global warming 2°C target set out in the Paris Climate Agreement in the coming century. Recently, scientists have shown that if this happens, even only temporarily, we could push through tipping points with a devastating impact on the world.

What are those tipping points? The idea of tipping points was first introduced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) two decades ago (The organization provides peer-reviewed science to policymakers, however over the years, it has come under attack from climate skeptics to activists alike. The latter sometimes suggests that the IPCC underestimates the severity of climate threats). A tipping point can be described as the point at which small changes suddenly become significant and cause irreversible changes that can have lasting impacts. It was once thought that these tipping points would only be reached if global warming exceeded 5 °C but recent work suggests that we could exceed them even if we only temporarily overshoot the temperature limits set by the Paris Agreement.

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