Addressing Key Uncertainties in Modelling Physical and Ecological Tipping Dynamics in the Earth System (towards TIPMIP)

Addressing Key Uncertainties in Modelling Physical and Ecological Tipping Dynamics in the Earth System (towards TIPMIP)

Addressing Key Uncertainties in Modelling Physical and Ecological Tipping Dynamics in the Earth System (towards TIPMIP)

When: 05 Nov – 08 Nov 2023
Where: Tagungshotel Hotel Döllnsee-Schorfheide, Templin/Germany
Organizers: Prof. Dr. Ricarda Winkelmann, PIK Potsdam • Prof. Dr. Victor Brovkin, MPI für Meteorologie, Hamburg • Prof. Dr. Anna von der Heydt, U Utrecht


Climate tipping points are critical thresholds that can induce abrupt and irreversible transitions in the Earth system, such as permafrost degradation, ice sheet disintegration or forest mortality. Such transitions can entail severe consequences for ecosystems, societies and economies worldwide.

While current Earth system models can represent and simulate certain tipping dynamics, major uncertainties remain with regards to identifying and quantifying respective critical thresholds, associated timescales, feedback strengths, and the impact of interactions between tipping elements on the resilience of the Earth system as a whole. There is, hence, an imperative demand to advance modelling of climate tipping points to enable a more systematic uncertainty and risk assessment as well as to enhance our comprehension of future short‐ and long‐term risks.

This seminar aims to address this demand by bringing together experts and early career‐scientists from diverse disciplines and regions to design and conduct coordinated experiments using state‐of‐the art Earth system models. It is embedded in an ongoing community effort to shape the multi‐year research agenda of a systematic Tipping Point Model Intercomparison Project (TIPMIP).

The workshop is a timely opportunity, especially for young researchers interested in joining or contributing to this initiative to acquire more information and contribute to its goals, methods, challenges and expected outcomes. It enables knowledge exchange and collaboration among participants and fosters interdisciplinary dialogue. The workshop will comprise presentations by TIPMIP coordinators and invited speakers, followed by breakout and poster sessions where participants can deliberate on specific topics related to this initiative. Finally, the workshop will culminate in a plenary session where the main outcomes and next steps of the initiative will be synthesised.



All seminar participants – except invited speakers – are required to apply. Therefore, please express your interest in participating via the application form below. As part of their efforts to create equal opportunities, the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation and the organizers particulary encourage women and others historically under-represented in science to apply.

For all participants, complimentary on-site and full-board accommodation will be provided by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, and there is no conference fee. Please note that the total number of participants is limited.

As part of the application process, we additionally ask that the applicants outline their motivation(s) for participating.. Please note, postdoctoral researchers, PhD students, and graduate students are required to present a poster and, thus, to submit an abstract.

Application deadline is 1 September 2023. The admittance will be confirmed (or declined) by PIK Potsdam after this deadline.

TIPMIP Website

TIPMIP Website

Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project

(Image source: Sina Loriani @ PIK)

The Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project led by Ricarda Winkelmann and Jonathan Donges at Potsdam Institute for Climate Systems Research (PIK) now has a website detailing the project, experimental design, and ways to get involved. The proposed experimental design includes (1) a baseline experiment to analyze the historical and projected response of selected tipping elements to different climate and land-use change scenarios, (2) a commitment experiment to assess the long-term consequences of surpassing different temperature and CO2 levels, and (3) a reversibility experiment to probe the reversibility of impacts and potential hysteresis behaviour. Assessment will focus on regions including: tropical rainforests, Greenland Ice Sheet, Antarctic Ice Sheet, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), boreal forest, and permafrost. Participating models can include offline models, EMICs, and ESMs. 

Get Involved

The TIPMIP protocol is currently in development. To stay up-to-date with the progress of this activity and to learn how to get involved, we recommend signing up for the following: