Nico Wunderling

PhD student

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 feedbacks and Earth resilience
  • Complex systems, nonlinear dynamics and network science

In Review/Submmitted:


Conferences, Schools & Workshops:
  • EGU General Assembly, 4 - 8 May 2020, Online
    Wunderling N, Donges JF, Kurths J, Winkelmann R: Interacting tipping elements increase risk of climate domino effects (Display D2308), Donges JF, Wunderling N, Kurths J, Winkelmann R: Risk analysis approach for tipping cascades and domino effects in the Earth system under global warming (Display D2254)
  • 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 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 stays:
  • January - March 2020: 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:
  • Valentin Wohlfarth (Master student, Humboldt University of Berlin)
  • Hannah Meevenkamp (Bachelor student, University of Göttingen): Causal loop network analysis of Arctic
    permafrost feedbacks
  • Jan Kohler (Bachelor student, University of Leipzig): Dynamics of tipping on stochastic complex networks
  • 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



Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
T +49 (0)331 288 20876
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam