Thresholds, tipping and turning points for sustainability under climate change

S. Werners, S. Pfenninger, E. van Slobbe, Marjolijn Haasnoot, J. Kwakkel, R.J. Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
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We review four bodies of literature that suggest that thresholds, tipping and turning points are important focal points for sustainability under climate change that can help bridge the science–policy interface. For decision-makers a critical threshold is reached, the moment that climate change renders policy untenable and alternative strategies must be considered. A focus on thresholds and tipping points allows for a salient and credible dialogue between decision-makers and scientists about the amount of acceptable change, when unacceptable conditions could occur, how likely these conditions are and what adaptation pathways to consider. Uncertainty can be communicated as the time range in which a critical threshold is likely to be exceeded
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
JournalCurrent opinion in environmental sustainability
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2014


  • METIS-296911
  • IR-86635


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