The effects of our warming climate are seen across a multitude of measures, usually as incremental changes: more frequent extreme weather, heatwaves, droughts and wildfires. The cumulative impact of these changes, however, can cause fundamental parts of the Earth system to change more quickly and drastically. These ‘tipping points’ are thresholds where a tiny change pushes the system into an entirely new state.

This week, at ESA’s Living Planet Symposium, scientists came together to discuss the latest research evidence for climate tipping points and identify the opportunities and challenges of using remote sensing data to understand them.