Professor Tim Lenton
Chair in Climate Change/Earth Systems Science

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications

Lenton, T.M., Boyle, R.A., Poulton, S.W., Shields-Zhou, G.A., Butterfield, N.J. (2014). Co-evolution of eukaryotes and ocean oxygenation in the Neoproterozoic era. Nature Geoscience, 7(4), 257-265.
Daines, S.J., Clark, J.R., Lenton, T.M. (2014). Multiple environmental controls on phytoplankton growth strategies determine adaptive responses of the N:P ratio. Ecology Letters, 17(4), 414-425.
Lenton, T.M., Crouch, M., Johnson, M., Pires, N., Dolan, L. (2012). First plants cooled the Ordovician. Nature Geoscience, 5(2), 86-89. Author URL
Lenton, T.M. (2011). Early warning of climate tipping points. Nature Climate Change, 1, 201-209.
Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, A., Chapin, F.S., Lambin, E.F., Lenton, T.M., Scheffer, M., Folke, C., Schellnhuber, H.J., et al (2009). A safe operating space for humanity. Nature, 461(7263), 472-475. Author URL
Lenton, T.M., Held, H., Kriegler, E., Hall, J.W., Lucht, W., Rahmstorf, S., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2008). Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(6), 1786-1793.

Tipping elements in the Earth's climate system.

The term "tipping point" commonly refers to a critical threshold at which a tiny perturbation can qualitatively alter the state or development of a system. Here we introduce the term "tipping element" to describe large-scale components of the Earth system that may pass a tipping point. We critically evaluate potential policy-relevant tipping elements in the climate system under anthropogenic forcing, drawing on the pertinent literature and a recent international workshop to compile a short list, and we assess where their tipping points lie. An expert elicitation is used to help rank their sensitivity to global warming and the uncertainty about the underlying physical mechanisms. Then we explain how, in principle, early warning systems could be established to detect the proximity of some tipping points.
 Abstract.  Author URL

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