Fenner in the news - Reversing the worst climate change effects?
Catastrophic irreversible environmental tipping points — such as the melting of polar icecaps — could be avoided even if we exceed global climate emissions reduction targets, provided we are able to reverse that overshoot quickly, according to a study published in the journal Nature last week.
However, Dr Steven Lade, a Stockholm Resilience Centre researcher and Fenner school scientist expressed concerns that the new study’s “models are not sufficiently complex to distinguish whether a lagged response is reversible or irreversible.”
For example, internal feedback processes may have already locked some Antarctic ice sheets into an irreversible melting state, even if those effects won’t be seen for centuries. “This is a subtle but important distinction that could substantially change their findings,” Lade said.