2011-07-03 02:19:31The "Tipping Point" series -- Call for graphics
John Hartz
John Hartz
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Readers of the the General Chat thread Tipping Points -- A SkS void??? know that I have comitted to author a new series of articles on "Tipping Points." 

Suggestions for a "Tipping Points" button a la "Monkton Myths" are hereby solicited.

If any of you have come across neat graphic portrayals of the "Tipping Point" process that could be incorporated into the body of the article, please provide links. 

If any of you want to to take a crack at generating original graphics portraying "Tipping Points," please do so.

Thank you.

John Hartz

2011-07-03 08:23:51How about...
John Hartz
John Hartz
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98.122.98.161

this for a Tipping Point graphic.

Frame 1: The Old Normal -- a row of upright dominos with an index finger resting on the top of the lead domino.

Frame 2: Tne New Normal -- the row of tipped dominos resting on each other.

2011-07-03 12:27:36
jg
John Garrett
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Badger, want me to draw your suggestion?

John, I'll read through your tipping points topic and see if any other ideas come to mind.

jg

2011-07-03 13:43:46jg
John Hartz
John Hartz
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Thanks. Let's wait on getting feedback from some of the others before drawing anything.

One of the seminal reports on this topic is the National Academy of Sciences' 2002 report, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises. [This report was prepared and published before the term, "Tipping Point. came into widespread use.] 

This NAS report defines abrupt climate change to be:

"What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small."

The report also contains a rather complicated graphic, Box 1.1 Analogy of Abrupt Climate Change. Please take a look at it and let me know what you think of it.

2011-07-04 01:52:35
jg
John Garrett
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96.229.221.76

Regarding the illustration (box 1.1): I don't think it is as effective as it can be. I think the analogy is correct and useful. I've seen the concept also expressed as a slope with depressions and a ball rolling downhill from one stable pocket to the lower pockets with the downhill representing the loss of preferrable states and the difficulty of getting the ball back to the previous state.

I'm also pondering some other analogies: a large earth that has highlighted things like marine fisheries collapse, rising sea level, release of arctic methane and CO2, etc. and keeping it from rolling over civilization is a block of ice (arctic, antarctic) acting like a tire stop. Comment would be "What's holding all of that back? answer: solid multiyear ice" and I could add/imply that the characters in the figure are packing more ice into the block but at the shovels of ice being carried to the block (almost like a bucket brigade) are getting wetter.

Another: 3 little pigs. Global warming has gotten the straw house and the stick house. they're taking refuge in the brick houe that's drawn a bit like an igloo. One pig says, "Tell me you made this out of brick" answer: "well, ice bricks" holding a melting brick.

just musing for now,

jg

2011-07-04 04:06:31
BaerbelW

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93.231.188.207

How about making use of the already existing saying "the straw that broke the camel's back" or something along those lines?

Greg Craven brings up tipping points with the help of a mike which gets closer and closer to its own speaker. Not sure how this could be visualised, though, as the picture would lack the accompanying sound! In Greg's videos it works because he can actually show this and you hear the screeching noise as soon as the mike gets too close to the speaker. Another analogy Greg uses is a light-switch where nothing happens until the switch is pushed strong enough.

2011-07-04 04:31:32jg & BaerbelW
John Hartz
John Hartz
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98.122.98.161

Thanks for brainstroming this with me. Let's keep it going.

2011-07-04 18:07:27
Michael Searcy

scentofpine@yahoo...
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I always tend to think of cracks in a dam.  For a visual you could draw a dam with various labeled cracks in it (ocean absorption of CO2, forest absorption of CO2, permafrost melt, changes in albedo, etc.).