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Report warns of climate tipping points in our lifetime

This is Science Today. A nationwide group of climate scientists released a new report warning that there may be climate tipping points within our lifetime. Tipping points are when changes to weather patterns become irreversible.

Barnosky:      We can look into the past and we can see that Earth has undergone these tipping points before.

Narrator: Integrative biologist Anthony Barnosky of the University of California, Berkeley, says their report focuses on abrupt changes and calls for a warning system to monitor Earth's ecosystems for early signs of serious change. This would help predict when those impacts will occur, so we can act to avoid them.

Barnosky:      We're seeing faster rates of climate change, more disturbance of the land, higher rates of extinction, so I think it's pretty clear that we're headed for something big. We need to plan for the future, to plan for the long term and drive the planet in directions that we want it to go.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.