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DominoES project

Domino Effects in the Earth System: Can Antarctica tip climate policy?

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Tipping elements are components of the Earth system that could be pushed into qualitatively different states by small external perturbations, with profound environmental impacts possibly endangering the livelihoods of millions of people. There are indications for significant interlinkages between climate tipping elements and even the potential for tipping cascades or domino effects from the climate to the social sphere. We will assess these effects for a highly relevant tipping chain connecting climatic tipping elements like Antarctica and Greenland with potential social tipping processes in public opinion formation and climate policy changes, and their societal implications.

DominoES is a joint project by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS) funded by the Leibniz Association (2017 - 2020).


Key idea
DOMINOES tipping cascade
Climate and social tipping elements and their interactions in the Earth system.

Reference: M. Wiedermann, R. Winkelmann, J.F. Donges, C. Eder, J. Heitzig, A. Katsandiou, E.K. Smith,
Can Antarctica tip climate policy?,
in review (2019), preprint arXiv:1911.10063 [physics.soc-ph].

Project team

DOMINOES associates at PIK: Nico Wunderling (PhD student, funded by IRTG 1740), Jakob Kolb (PhD student, funded by Stiftung der deutschen Wirtschaft), Niklas Kitzmann (PhD student, funded by Geo.X)

DominoES Team at GESIS, Cologne, May 2017.

Scientific advisory board

  • J. Doyne Farmer (Oxford University, United Kingdom; economic modeling, complexity economics)
  • Michael Ghil (University of California Los Angeles, USA; nonlinear dynamics)
  • Timothy Lenton (Exeter University, United Kingdom; climate tipping elements)
  • Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen (Bern University, Switzerland; comparative politics, public opinion)

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