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- (mathematics, catastrophe theory) The point at which a slow, reversible change becomes irreversible, often with dramatic consequences.
- (sociology) A point in time when a group rapidly and dramatically changes its behavior by widely adopting a previously rare practice.
- (climatology) An irreversible change in the climate system.
- Coordinate term: tipping element
- 2005 August 11, Ian Sample, “Warming hits 'tipping point'”, in The Guardian:
- It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying "tipping points" - delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth's temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.
- 2021 August 5, Damian Carrington, “Climate crisis: Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse”, in The Guardian:
- Climate scientists have detected warning signs of the collapse of the Gulf Stream, one of the planet’s main potential tipping points.
- The point in time at which some new technology becomes mainstream.
the point at which a slow, reversible change becomes irreversible