This article documents the use of tipping points in climate change discourse to discuss their significance. We review the relevant literature, and discuss the popular emergence of tipping points before their adoption in climate change discourse. We describe the tipping point trend in mainstream US and UK print news media and in the primary scientific literature on climate change by replicating the methodologies of Oreskes [Oreskes, N., 2004. The scientific consensus on climate change. Nature 306, 1686] and Boykoff and Boykoff [Boykoff, M.T., Boykoff, J.M., 2004. Balance as bias: global warming and the US prestige press. Global Environmental Change 14, 125-136]. We then discuss the significance of climate change tipping points and their popular use in terms of generative metaphor.

Alarmism, Climate change communication, Dangerous anthropogenic interference, Metaphor, News media, Threshold, Tipping point
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.04.001
Global Environmental Change
School of Journalism and Communication

Russill, C, & Nyssa, Z. (Zoe). (2009). The tipping point trend in climate change communication. Global Environmental Change, 19(3), 336–344. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.04.001