Episode 6: Tipping Points

A tipping point consists of a reinforcing feedback loop within a system, the moment at which a given activity reaches a critical mass and becomes self-propelling. It is a key scientific concept, increasingly in use in understanding and forecasting the impact of human activity on the environment. The tipping points we hear about tend to be negative, such as the loss of the Greenland ice sheet. But they can be positive too, as with the uptake in electric vehicles, and used to shape and direct policy. 


Our Guest: Tim Lenton is professor of Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter and Director of the university’s Global Systems Institute. He is internationally known for his research into tipping points and has lectured and written widely on the subject, including in Nature and Science.


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