Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios

02 August 2022
by Luke Kemp, Chi Xu, Joanna Depledge, Kristie L. Ebi, Goodwin Gibbins, Timothy A. Kohler, Johan Rockström, Marten Scheffer, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Will Steffen, Timothy M. Lenton

Experts call for a new ‘Climate Endgame’ research agenda, and say far too little work has gone into understanding the mechanisms by which rising temperatures might pose a catastrophic risk to society and humanity.

In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers call on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to dedicate a future report to catastrophic climate change to galvanise research and inform the public. 

“There are plenty of reasons to believe climate change could become catastrophic, even at modest levels of warming,” said lead author Dr Luke Kemp from Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Luke wrote a Twitter thread summarising and clarifying the article. He emphasises that we need serious study of how climate change contributes to global catastrophic risk, and need to understand the probabilities and mechanisms of plausible extreme risks so we can prevent them. He focuses on their analysis of how climate change intersects with other risks. For example, there are locations where extreme heat state fragility and potential nuclear and biological hazards coincide, creating the potential for a set of cascading effects.

More media coverage of the paper:

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