ACOM Crutzen Seminar: Will Steffen


Title: Feedbacks, Thresholds and Tipping Cascades in the Earth System

Presenter: Will Steffen, Australian National University & Stockholm Resilience Centre

Abstract: The dominant paradigm in climate science has been that human emissions of greenhouse gases will be the dominant forcing factor in driving change in the climate system through the rest of this century and perhaps beyond. However, the view from both Earth System science and the palaeo-sciences suggests that feedbacks internal to the system will become an increasingly important driver of change in the Earth System, with a significant risk that feedbacks will become the dominant driver of change later this century. This talk will examine the recent research on the vulnerability of various feedbacks – primarily ice-albedo and carbon cycle feedbacks, the observational evidence for changes in these feedback processes, the risks of threshold-abrupt change behaviour, and the possibility that feedback cascades could take the trajectory of the Earth System out of human control and towards much hotter conditions.

Thursday, June 20, 2019, 3:30 p.m Refreshments 3:15 p.m NCAR Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room 1850 Table Mesa Drive Live webcast:




Room Number: 
Main Seminar Room

Type of event:

Will this event be webcast to the public by NCAR|UCAR?: 
Yes - ML-Main Seminar Room -
Announcement Timing: 
Friday, May 31, 2019 to Thursday, June 20, 2019
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Posted by Bonnie Slagel at ext. 8318,

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