17 January 2022
Virtual Meeting

Discussion Series on ‘Tipping Elements, Irreversibility and Abrupt Change in the Earth System’: PERMAFROST

This discussion series aims to advance the knowledge about tipping elements, irreversibility, and abrupt changes in the Earth system. It supports efforts to increase consistency in treatment of tipping elements in the scientific community, develop a research agenda, and design joint experiments and ideas for a Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project (TipMip).

(c) Hannes Grobe

(c) Hannes Grobe

The Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) global research project of Future Earth, the Earth Commission Working Group 1 Earth and Human Systems Intercomparison Modelling Project (EHSMIP) under the Global Commons Alliance and the Safe Landing Climates Light House Activity of World Climate Research Program (WCRP) are jointly organizing this discussion series. IIASA is co-hosting the scientific secretariat of WG1 of the Earth Commission and is organizing this discussion series. More information on the discussion series is available here.

The discussion on Monday, January 17, 2022 16:00-17:30 CET will focus on PERMAFROST: 

  • Introduction and moderation – Victor Brovkin and Claire Treat (5min)
  • Permafrost and climate change – what are we observing? – Hanne Hvidtfeld Christiansen (20min)
  • The Permafrost Carbon Feedback and potential tipping points - Gustaf Hugelius (20min)
  • Questions and discussion (20min)

The final 25min have been reserved for informal discussions on the research agenda and the development of a Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project (TipMip).

The event will be recorded. Recordings of the events in this series can be accessed here.


Please register. The Zoom link to the event will be sent out to all registered participants the day preceding the webinar.

Organizing Institutions

Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System AIMES

The Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) project is an international network of Earth system scientists and scholars that seek to develop innovative, interdisciplinary ways to understand the complexity of the natural world and its interactions with human activities.

Through international science coordination and partnerships, AIMES addresses questions beyond the remit of a single institution or discipline to understand the complex interactions between biogeochemistry, Earth system dynamics, and socio-economic conditions under global environmental change. This strategy requires a new level of coordination between disciplinary or process-focused modeling and observations in order to make progress in understanding, predicting, and managing the Earth as an integrated system. AIMES is a global research project of Future Earth.  

Earth Commission 

The Earth Commission is a global team of scientists with the mission to define a safe and just corridor for people and planet. Working Group 1 Earth and Human Systems Intercomparison Modelling Project (EHSMIP) of the Earth Commission  will identify, assess and model key interactions that regulate the state of the planetary (i.e., the physical climate system, the cryosphere, oceans, terrestrial biosphere systems, cycles of water, nutrients and carbon), and human systems. This will inform setting targets for a stable and safe planet, and will help us in developing and understanding pathways that are compatible with these targets.

The scientific guardrails defined by the Earth Commission will guide the Science Based Targets Network in developing tangible science-based targets tailored to cities and companies.  The Earth Commission is hosted by Future Earth, the world’s largest network of sustainability scientists, and is the scientific cornerstone of the Global Commons Alliance. 

World Climate Research Program WCRP Safe Landing Climates 

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) The Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity is an exploration of the routes to “safe landing” spaces for human and natural systems. It will explore future pathways that avoid dangerous climate change while at the same time contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those of climate action, zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, and healthy ecosystems above and below water. The relevant time scale is multi-decadal to millennial. This event is part of a WCRP Light House Activity.

Print this page

Last edited: 13 January 2022


Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Caroline Zimm

Research Scholar Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313