2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #51

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sunday, Dec 15 through Saturday, Dec. 22.

Editor's Pick

Risks of 'domino effect' of tipping points greater than thought, study says

Scientists warn policymakers not to ignore links, and stress that ‘every action counts’

Arctic Sea Ice

When arctic ice melts, less sunlight is reflected, which raises global temperatures and increases the risk of forest fires. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images 

Policymakers have severely underestimated the risks of ecological tipping points, according to a study that shows 45% of all potential environmental collapses are interrelated and could amplify one another.

The authors said their paper, published in the journal Science, highlights how overstressed and overlapping natural systems are combining to throw up a growing number of unwelcome surprises.

“The risks are greater than assumed because the interactions are more dynamic,” said Juan Rocha of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. “The important message is to recognise the wickedness of the problem that humanity faces.”

The study collated existing research on ecosystem transitions that can irreversibly tip to another state, such as coral reefs bleaching and being overrun by algae, forests becoming savannahs and ice sheets melting into oceans. It then cross-referenced the 30 types of shift to examine the impacts they might have on one another and human society.

Risks of 'domino effect' of tipping points greater than thought, study says by Jonathan Watts, Environment, Guardian, Dec 20, 2018

Links posted on Facebook

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Sat Dec 23, 2018

Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 22 December, 2018

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