Venus, Earth, and Mars (European Space Agency)
The term ‘tipping element’ was defined in a 2008 paper by Tim Lenton. It referred to elements in the Earth’s climate system with the ability to ‘tip’ into different stable states. In the intervening decade, concern about the increased probablity of tipping elements tipping, their inter-connections and profound impacts on humanity have increased.
For most of us thinking at Earth scale isn’t necessary. However to appreciate the risks associated with tipping elements, it’s necessary to try.