TiPES has produced several small cartoons such as the one above highlighting the work done.

TiPES produced resources include, but are not limited to:

Also notice that if you search these pages for content (top, right in a regular browser) regarding i.e ice sheets, AMOC, amazon or others you will find short info from the relevant studies, press releases, webinars and podcasts concerning that exact climate tipping system.

Summary of project findings:

The TiPES project has provided crucial new insight regarding potential tipping points in the Earth’s system. The project has

  • advanced the mathematical theory of tipping points,
  • developed new methods to analyse and understand abrupt transitions in past climates,
  • improved the understanding of tipping phenomena in state-of-the-art climate models,
  • improved warning indicators of forthcoming transitions, and
  • discovered that the Amazon Rainforest, the West-central Greenland ice sheet, and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation show signs of stability decline consistent with approaching tipping points.

Risk of tipping
Paleoclimate proxy data and theory suggest that rising CO2 levels could trigger tipping points in various Earth systems. Data from ice cores and speleothems documents several types of past abrupt climate changes, manifesting in pronounced temperature and precipitation shifts with global imprints. Climate models show that increasing CO2 levels could tip various aspects of the climate system, leading to shifts in precipitation, wind patterns, temperature zones, and ocean currents over decades to centuries. Together with the improved theoretical understanding of feedbacks and nonlinear behavior in the climate system, the paleoclimate evidence suggests that abrupt climate transitions but be triggered by ongoing anthropogenic climate and land-use change. Abrupt climate transitions could lead to severe ecological, economic, and political impacts. Endemic biospheres such as the Amazon rainforest may be irreversibly damaged. Committing to the loss of the Ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica over hundreds of years or the redistribution of heat in the North Atlantic Ocean over decades will shift sea levels, global weather patterns and monsoon patterns over the coming centuries posing major challenges to ecosystems, agriculture, economy, infrastructure, and human living conditions.

Relevant focus points in the science of climate tipping
The risk of abrupt climate transitions calls for a concise, yet uncertainty-aware assessment of the risks associated with climate tipping points, and the development of early warning systems and mitigation strategies. The TiPES project contributed greatly in advancing the scientific knowledge basis of climate tipping points, regarding the underlying theory, empirical evidence, means to anticipate the crossing of tipping points, and the representation of tipping elements in climate models. To facilitate an increased focus on tipping points, political, economic and scientific stakeholders such as the IPCC and the climate science community have been engaged.

There was a growing theoretical understanding of climate tipping during the project;

  • Earth system models can now accurately simulate some past tipping events, addressing previous concerns about their predictive capabilities. This advancement is crucial as it enhances our confidence in predicting future tipping events. Several TiPES studies have demonstrated substantial progress in this regard.
  • The project introduced and studied concepts like partial climate tipping, rate-induced tipping, and noise-induced tipping, expanding our understanding of the mechanisms underlying abrupt climate shifts. Moreover, substantial progress has been made in anticipating forthcoming transitions under realistic scenarios of non-white noise forcing. This deeper comprehension is essential for anticipating and managing such events.
  • The TiPES project has made substantial contributions to understanding the interplay and coupling of dynamical and chaotic systems and the relation to abrupt climate change .
  • TiPES improved methodology for computing climate response under tipping possibilities, aiding in estimating transient and equilibrium climate sensitivity. This methodological advancement is vital for refining our understanding of how the climate system responds to external forcings, including the risk of tipping points.
  • Automated analysis tools for identifying abrupt climate transitions in paleo-data were developed, along with a statistical framework for handling dating uncertainties. These tools provide a more comprehensive understanding of past climate dynamics and help identify potential precursors to future tipping events.
  • Enhanced understanding of precursor signals (early warning) for abrupt transitions includes methods to assess risks in ocean circulation and vegetation resilience. These advancements on early warning indicators, allowing for proactive measures to mitigate the impacts of tipping events.
  • Observation-based precursor signals of forthcoming tipping events in response to anthropogenic climate change have been identified in the following climate sub-systems: The West-Central Greenland ice sheet has lost stability during the last century. A large part of the Greenland ice sheet situated in the central-western part of Greenland shows signs of so-called critical slowing down, indicating that the system is nearing a tipping point, after which the ice could be committed – at least regionally – to an irreversible loss over the coming centuries. The AMOC shows signs of approaching a tipping point. However, the associated time spans are difficult to constrain and range from decades to centuries at least, depending on the future anthropogenic global warming. The Amazon rainforest has been losing resilience since the early 2000s, especially in parts closer to human activity. The rainforest is in danger of shifting abruptly to a more savanna-like state, possibly already within the coming decades if the combined thread of increased drought frequency and deforestation is not stopped.

TiPES has significantly advanced understanding of tipping points, disseminating findings for broader societal impact through engagement with political, economic stakeholders, and the climate science community.

The project also raised public awareness on tipping point risks, with research on AMOC collapse (Boers, 2021, Ditlevsen & Ditlevsen, 2023 and Westen, Kliphuis and Dijksra, 2024) garnering global media attention (~4000 news outlets). The Ditlevsen & Ditlevsen paper has to date been visited on the Nature Communication web-site more than 400,000 times.

One objective of the TiPES project was to initiate an IPCC special report on Tipping Points. For this the Swiss government was supportive, as were several governments in EU countries. While efforts to initiate an IPCC special report were supported by several governments, it was decided to include tipping points in the seventh assessment report instead.

Outreach activities included engagement with politicians and the public, publication of research priorities, and meetings with stakeholders across various sectors.

The joined TiPES, Comfort, TiPACCS Policy brief was well received at CINEA level. A list of research priorities and a call for a focused attention on abrupt climate transitions in the field of climate science was published (Boers, M. Ghil, T. Stocker 2022) and meetings with several stakeholders, primarily in the policy, farming, and insurance sectors, have been undertaken and a game for kids have been developed.