Planet on the edge: 'Tipping points' of rapid and irreversible climate change

From vast forest fires to coral reefs bleached ghostly white to melting ice sheets, the Earth's vital signs are in trouble. Scientists say the planet is on the cusp of crossing 'tipping points' of rapid and irreversible change. Climate Change Editor David Fogarty spoke to scientists to find out how close human beings are to crossing into a new and more dangerous world.

New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

Last November, a small group of leading climate scientists issued a warning about planetary tipping points and the need to rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit the risks to humanity.

"Evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes," they wrote in the journal Nature.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2020, with the headline Planet on the edge: 'Tipping points' of rapid and irreversible climate change. Subscribe