Imprecise probability assessment of tipping points in the climate system

Elmar Kriegler, Jim W. Hall, Hermann Held, Richard Dawson, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

198 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Major restructuring of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, the Amazon rainforest and ENSO, are a source of concern for climate policy. We have elicited subjective probability intervals for the occurrence of such major changes under global warming from 43 scientists. Although the expert estimates highlight large uncertainty, they allocate significant probability to some of the events listed above. We deduce conservative lower bounds for the probability of triggering at least 1 of those events of 0.16 for medium (2–4 °C), and 0.56 for high global mean temperature change (above 4 °C) relative to year 2000 levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5041-5046
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Volume106
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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