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Climate Tipping Point - illustrated with a fun educational exercise in the park!

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

As part of our morning exercise walk from the IEN office to the local community garden Kebun Kebun Bangsar, we undertook a fun and educational exercise illustrating how climate tipping points work - and how they happen surprisingly fast with no time to turn back! This is what the climate change experts want about when they say that "the World is on the brink of multiple disastrous and irreversible climate tipping points that pose an existential threat to humanity".


We encourage you to repeat this 8-minute climate tipping point exercise with your friends, family, colleagues - as well as in schools. Watch the 8-minute video here:



On 20 March 2023, the final report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released. This so-called "synthesis report” is the final part of the sixth assessment report (AR6) on climate change. The first three sections of AR6 warned about irreversible climate change being virtually inevitable. This synthesis report is the last IPCC report to be issues while the World still has time to stay below a global temperature rise of1.5C above pre-industrial levels, and hereby standing a fair chance of avoiding irreversible catastrophic climate change.


With a clear reference to the recent Oscar winning movie for which Malaysian Michelle Yeoh also won an Oscar, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”


There are several irreversible climate tipping points. Perhaps the easiest to explain is the melting of permafrost, where big amounts of frozen biological material starts to thaw due to global warming. This melted biological material releases methane - a strong greenhouse

gas - to the atmosphere, which causes even more global warming, thawing more permafrost etc. etc. The vicious cycled of a positive feedback loop that accelerate global warming has started and cannot be halted. Even if human greenhouse gas emissions drop to zero, the natural irreversible climate change will continue to accelerate. See dramatic video of methane releases from cold areas with of Alaska where the permafrost has started to melt:



 

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