You are here: Home PIK Members Nico Wunderling

Nico Wunderling

Nico Wunderling
PhD student
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Telegraphenberg A62 / S08
Phone: +49 (0)331 288 20876
Email: nico.wunderling[at]
Postal Address
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


Topic: Nonlinear dynamics and interactions of tipping elements in the Earth System

Since October 2017, I am working together with Prof. Dr. Ricarda Winkelmann and Dr. Jonathan Donges on interactions and feedbacks of tipping elements in the Earth system. Here, my aim is to investigate possible tipping cascades and how they affect future climate.

At PIK, my dissertation is embedded in the COPAN (Coevolutionary pathways) and DominoES (Domino Effects in the Earth System: can Antarctica tip climate policy?) project and I am also part of the FutureLab on Earth resilience in the Anthropocene.

Research interests:

  • Climate tipping elements and social tipping processes
  • Interactions of tipping elements and tipping cascades
  • Climate history and early effects of humanity on climate
  • Complex systems, nonlinear dynamics and network science
  • Climate feedbacks


  • N. Wunderling*, B. Stumpf*, J. Krönke, A. Staal, O. Tuinenburg, R. Winkelmann and J.F. Donges,
    How motifs condition critical thresholds for tipping cascades in complex networks: Linking Micro- to Macro-scales,

    in review (2019), *These authors share the first authorship
    preprint arXiv:

  • N. Wunderling, J.F. Donges, J. Kurths and R. Winkelmann,
    Interacting tipping elements increase risk of climate domino effects,

    in review (2019).
  • N. Wunderling, M. Willeit, J.F. Donges, and R. Winkelmann,
    Additional global warming commitment due to crossing critical thresholds within the Earth’s cryosphere,

    in review (2019).
  • J. Krönke, N. Wunderling, R. Winkelmann, A. Staal, B. Stumpf, O.A. Tuinenburg, J.F. Donges,
    Dynamics of tipping cascades on complex networks
    in review (2019),
    preprint arXiv:


Conferences, Schools & Workshops:

  • AGU Fall Meeting, 9 - 13 December 2019, San Francisco, USA
    Wunderling N, Krönke J, Stumpf B, Donges JF, Winkelmann R: Linking Micro to Macro: Dynamics of tipping cascades on complex networks (Poster)
  • Workshop on Modelling Socio-Environmental Transformations of the Americas During the Little Ice Age, 14 - 16 November 2019, Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung, Bielefeld, Germany
  • IRTG Workshop and School, 27 September - 2 October 2019, Berlin, Germany
  • International workshop on Complex Systems and Networks, 23 - 26 September, Berlin, Germany
    Linking Micro to Macro: Dynamics of cascading failures on complex networks (Talk)
    Wunderling N, Donges JF, Kurths J, Winkelmann R: Risk analysis of tipping cascades in the climate system (Poster)
  • Workshop on Social Tipping Elements (Second), 17-19 June, Cologne, Germany
  • EGU General Assembly, 7 April - 12 April 2019, Vienna, Austria
    Wunderling N, Willeit M, Donges JF, Winkelmann R: Additional global warming caused by crossing critical thresholds within the Earth's cryosphere (Poster)
  • IRTG Workshop and School, 26 August - 1 September 2018, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil
  • Workshop on Social Tipping Elements (First), 4-6 June, Cologne, Germany
  • Workshop on "Predicting Transitions in Complex systems", 23-27 April 2018, Max-Planck-Institut for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany
  • EGU General Assembly, 8-13 April 2018, Vienna, Austria
    Wunderling N, Willeit M, Donges JF, Winkelmann R: Climate feedbacks caused by melting of cryosphere tipping elements sufficient to raise temperature from 1.5 to 2°C (Poster)

Research stay:

  • January - April 2020: Lab of M. Hirota (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil) and Lab of H. Barbosa (University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
  • August - October 2018: Lab of H. Barbosa (University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)


Teaching Activities:

1. Supervised students:

  • Hannah Meevenkamp (Bachelor student, University of Göttingen)
  • Valentin Wohlfarth (Master student, Humboldt University of Berlin)
  • Jan Kohler (Bachelor student, University of Leipzig)
  • Jonathan Kroenke (Master student, University of Potsdam): Dynamics of tipping cascades on complex networks
  • Benedikt Stumpf (Master student, Free University Berlin): The role of motifs in complex networks of tipping elements

2. Lectures and courses:

  • School on "The Earth as a complex dynamical system: from climate change to sustainability transformation", for German National Academic Foundation (2017 - 2019)
  • Tutor in the lecture series on "Introduction to Climate Physics", Department of Physics, Potsdam University, Potsdam (Winter term 2018) with Prof. Dr. Ricarda Winkelmann



  • IRTG 1740 (International Research Training Group).

Document Actions