Question Set 5

  1. To what extent has humanity during the Holocene impacted the Earth's life-support system and is there a fundamental difference in what is taking place over the last 100 years?
  2. Explain the scenario-based approach to the exploration of possible future used by, for example, Carpenter et al. (2005).
  3. Comparing Figure 1 in Lenton and Schellnhuber (2007) (see e.g. for the figure, or for the figure, which is on slide 6 plus additional information) to the discussion of rapid changes over the last 10 years provided in previous classes, which of the thresholds have already been crossed, or are likely to be crossed, much earlier than anticipated by Lenton and Schellnhuber (2007)? It may be helpful for you to read through Richard Blaustein's (2015) comment on "Predicting Tipping Points" available at
  4. GRAD: Is the IPCC comprehensively considering all drivers of climate change? How is this reflected in the assessment reports?

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Please, submit the answers by e-mail to the two instructors. Note that your answers to the questions should be concise and in a scientific writing style. Please, include your name at the top and the questions before each answer. The answers have to cite the sources consulted in writing the answer and a list of references. Citations and Reference have to follow the documentation style defined by the Council of Scientific Editors, known as the CSE style. See SSF-Guide or the WISC page for more information on the CSE style. Examples of correct references can be found here.

Questions marked with "GRAD" are to be answered only by students in the 500-level class.