Imprecise probability of crossing tipping points in the climate system elicited from experts

TitleImprecise probability of crossing tipping points in the climate system elicited from experts
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSchellnhuber, HJ, Kriegler, E, Hall, JW, Held, H, Dawson, R
JournalProc. Nat. Acad. Sci.
Volume106
Start Page5041-5046
Date Published03/2009
Abstract

Major restructuring of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, the Amazon rainforest and ENSO, are a source of concern for climate policy. We have elicited subjective probability intervals for the occurrence of such major changes under global warming from 43 scientists. Although the expert estimates highlight large uncertainty, they allocate significant probability to some of the events listed above. We deduce conservative lower bounds for the probability of triggering at least 1 of those events of 0.16 for medium (2–4 °C), and 0.56 for high global mean temperature change (above 4 °C) relative to year 2000 levels.

URLhttp://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/03/13/0809117106.full.pdf+html