The series explores the global impact of our changing climate system, how climate and human populations interconnect and the profound impact they have on each other. Scientists explore the elements destabilizing our climate system and how changes in a remote area can — and do — dramatically impact those on other continents, thousands of miles away.
The phenomena of "tipping points" follows the concept that, at a particular moment in time, a small change can have a large, long-term consequence on a fragile climate system already in a state of flux. Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Further, when the situation is pushed past the "tipping point," it will potentially lead to a chain reaction, putting other ecosystems around the globe in peril.
"Tipping Points" features several of the most critical examples, including the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet, total melting of the Himalayan icecap glaciers, dieback of the Amazon rainforest, shutdown of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, and the rapid melt of the Permafrost in Siberia.
The series is hosted by polar explorer and climate journalist Bernice Notenboom, who is joined by a number of leading international environmental scientists in each episode such as Torben Christensen, Peter Cox, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Matthew England, James Hansen, Tim Lenton, Yadvinder Malhi, Konrad Steffen, Katey Walker, Jay Zwally, and more. Stu Ostro, senior meteorologist for The Weather Channel, serves as contributing science editor on the project.
"Tipping Points" is produced by Unboxed Media. The Weather Channel owns the U.S. rights as the sole U.S. network to air the series. The global partnership includes international networks NHK Japan, ARD Group Germany, Canvas Belgium, VPRO Holland, and The Australia Network.