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INESC TEC participates in a European project to study climatic phenomena

INESC TEC is the only Portuguese institution to participate in a European consortium aiming to understand the mechanisms that lead to sudden climate changes. 

31st October 2019

TIPES (Tipping points in the earth system) is the name of the project that aims at understand abrupt climate transitions and irreversible changes in the earth system.

The melting in the Antarctica, monsoon disturbances, changes in the Atlantic ocean currents, reductions of ice in the Arctic sea and extreme droughts are examples of climate events with the potential to cause a domino effect and a cascade of dramatic changes in the environment. Understanding the mechanisms is therefore of vital importance.

For that, INESC TEC, together with another 17 European institutions from 10 European countries, participates in the TiPES project, with a budget of EUR eight million, in which a very diverse set of experts – ranging from mathematicians, physicists, climatologists to data scientists – is working to improve the knowledge on weather hazards and the reliability of forecasts.

INESC TEC participates in the work of «analysing paleoclimate time series ( time series of proxies of ancient climates) for the identification of early warning signal of abrupt climate transitions», explained Susana Barbosa, a researcher of the Centre for Information Systems and Computer Graphics (CSIG).

As a result of the work developed by the consortium, it is expected that, in 2023, the project will produce information to support international climate assessments, namely those produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations (IPCC), and will help decision makers with responsibilities in defining public policies that are relevant for the earth’s climate.

The TIPES project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement nº 820970.


The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.