Full Earth System Sensitivity to CO2 has been Grossly Underestimated

In this one hour long presentation by Professor David Wasdell of the Apollo Gaia Project he explains that we have no available carbon budget and that we are on a trajectory of well over 10 degrees C. This sort of global temperature rise guarantees the total collapse of the biosphere as we know it. Professor Wasdell does have a hopium moment at the end with his “ I have a dream” segment but the presentation is stunning and is a major call out of the dishonest IPCC. Business as usual brings us to 800 ppm to 900 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere which guarantees collapse of industrial civilisation and the melt down of 430 odd nuclear power stations and there attendant spent fuel pool fires. 


“It is with the utmost concern that we draw your attention to the fundamental methodological flaw in the determination of the value of Climate Sensitivity that is embedded in the Summary for Policymakers of the Scientific Workgroup of the 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC. The error was replicated in the Reports of Workgroups 2 and 3 and carried forward into the Synthesis Report. It has been used as the given basis for every subsequent publication. Our radical analysis of Climate Dynamics has generated a new and robust value of “Earth System Sensitivity” which has profound implications for:


• The relationship between temperature change and cumulative carbon emissions.
• The calculation of “available carbon budget”.
• The evaluation of the INDCs.
• The terms of reference of COP21 in Paris (30 November – 11 December 2015).
• The future global strategy for climate stabilisation.”
Please listen to David Wasdell from the Apollo Gaia Project in his presentation entitled Climate Dynamics: Facing the Harsh Realities of Now


 In the following interview between David Wasdell and Alex Smith from the excellent website Radio Ecoshock, Professor Wasdell discusses the under estimation of the effects of numerous feedbacks; Facing the Harsh Reality of Now
“If anything, climate sensitivity is higher”- Glaciologist Jason Box on Climate Sensitivity
In my November 7th interview with Professor Paul Ehrlich, Paul mentioned that he and some other colleagues have been having a dialogue in the broader scientific community about telling the truth about the severity of the crisis. His most recent paper used the expression “Biological Annihilation via the ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction” in the title, that is almost without  precedent for a science paper. Paul and I discussed the reasons why so few scientists are prepared to admit how dire the situation is due to the kind of intimidation that was directed at Michael Mann and the risk it would pose to their research grants. As always follow the money. To quote the late great Michael C Ruppert “Until you change the way that money works, you change nothing”

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

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42 comments on “Full Earth System Sensitivity to CO2 has been Grossly Underestimated
  1. bill says:

    GM has pointed this out lots of times. Earth is in the inner edge of the habitable zone meaning its atmosphere cannot cope with large chemistry changes and remain hospitable – we have made major changes!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. goldermartin says:

    I have a feeling that I saw a quote from either you or Guy which said that if planes stopped flying we would cook the planet in a matter of weeks. Is this true? Is there any data? Thanks. Keep blowing the climate emergency bell.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin Hester says:

    “Our results clearly show that the impact of climate change on mammals and birds to date is currently greatly under-estimated and reported upon,” co-author James Watson, of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland in Australia, said in a statement. “We need to greatly improve assessments of the impacts of climate change on species right now, we need to communicate this to the wider public and we need to ensure key decision-makers know that something significant needs to happen now to stop species going extinct.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kevin Hester says:

    Too late, despite this dude spruiking for nuclear, he knows the game is up.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. rnbeal says:

    Is there a more practical (playable) version of the Wasdell video?


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kevin Hester says:

    Dig this, great information on the two big sinks and the risk and in my mind probability they could become emiters. No phase switch in the big sinks is calculated in even the IPCC R.C.P’s


  7. Kevin Hester says:

    Larry Parker Quote: ‘Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State, has described the Earth’s climate as a highly complex system that, based on small forces that are still only dimly understood, tends to lurch from one steady state to another. “You might think of the climate as a drunk,” Alley wrote in his great book The Two Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future, which was first published in 2000. “When left alone, it sits; when forced to move, it staggers.” ‘
    Left alone, Gaia adjusts smoothly; when provoked, she lurches. This time, It’s our fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Henry Swenty says:

    Unfortunately, I believe that it is going to take a climate “Pearl Harbor” to wake people up. If you agree with Paul Beckwith, as I do, it’s difficult to see a positive outcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Kevin Hester says:

    Courtesy of Gerry Grimes on FB


  10. Peter Wadhams says:

    The analysis of climate sensitivity by David Wasdell is very important. I have been through it with him several times and am convinced of its validity. I mentioned it in “A Farewell to Ice”. The point is that here is a big difference between the short term sensitivity, which is used to calculate warming over a few years, and the long term sensitivity which represents how much warming the earth is going to be subjected to if you don’t add more CO2 but let the effects of the present levels work their way fully through the climate system. Short term sensitivity is 2-4.5 C, but long term is more like 10C. The crime of IPCC and other modelling outfits is that they are aware of this difference between short and long term, but still use the short term value even when they are doing hand-waving studies of what is going to happen over the next century or two. In fact it;’s not just the case that the magic 1.5C or 2C warming is already “baked in” to the global system – in fact the baked in figure is more like 4-5 C. Hence the vital need for carbon drawdown. Best wishes Peter Wadhams

    Liked by 2 people

  11. […] A little-discussed and poorly-understood factor in all these trends is climate sensitivity, short- and long-term. For a brief explanation, I quote Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics, and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, who commented: […]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. […] A little-discussed and poorly-understood factor in all these trends is climate sensitivity, and the difference between short and long term sensitivity. For a brief explanation, I quote Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics, and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, who commented: […]

    Liked by 1 person

  13. […] A little-discussed and poorly-understood factor in all these trends is climate sensitivity, and the difference between short and long term sensitivity. For a brief explanation, I quote Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics, and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, who commented: […]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kevin Hester says:

    The full ESS number (7.8C per doubling) blew my mind. Reading from the graph on page 17 of the presentation, if we stabilize at 800 ppm we can expect a long term temperature rise of 12C.



  15. Kevin Hester says:

    “But even at a conservative estimate of sensitivity, a 3C planet, to which at minimum we are likely heading, should be considered “extremely dangerous”; and a global average temperature rise within the 3–4C threshold would probably create conditions that make the core infrastructures of human civilisation increasingly unviable.



  16. Kevin Hester says:

    Courtesy of Rudy Sovinee;

    The FULL effect takes millennia. Even half of the FULL effect is estimated to take 40 years. When people cite 10 – 30 years … that is when the greatest amount of impact is achieved in the shortest amount of time.
    In discussing climate sensitivity, this paper settled on a 150 years as the time frame for the faster consequences to be measurably complete. They look to have ignored what we see here in “Arctic News” as the exponential amplification of effects like boreal forest and peat burning. Still, it is an excellent article in broad strokes. At the top of the article this statement (IMO) underscores the primary result that they needed to arrive at – after many subjective choices made in the setting of parameters considered: “Essentially, by narrowing the range of estimates, the researchers found that climate sensitivity isn’t so low that it should be ignored, but it’s also not so high that there is no hope for the planet’s recovery.”
    I’ve long considered the IPCC level discussions as striving to generate concern without despair. Since equilibrium for any given change in CO2 concentration takes centuries to millennia to be reached, I’ve argued in past discussions that the number for sensitivity can be near anything up to a long term value near 8, subject to the time range chosen.
    I did not see the time frame defined in the posted article, but when I followed the article to the PDF I see the team chose to use 150 years.
    There is this acknowledgement:
    “Bringing all the evidence to bear in a consistent way requires using a specific measure of ECS, so that all lines of evidence are linked to the same underlying quantity. We denote this quantity S (see section2.1). The implications for S of the three strands of evidence are examined separately in sections 3-5, and anticipated dependencies between them are discussed in section 6.”
    In Section 2.1 they define the time frame as 150 years. “Our reference scenario does not formally exclude any feedback process, but the 150-year time frame minimizes slow feedbacks (especially ice sheet changes)” …
    Then: “the effective sensitivity S that we will use—a linear approximation to the equilibrium warming based on the first 150 years after an abrupt CO2quadrupling—is a practical option for measuring sensitivity, based on climate system behavior over the most relevant time frame while still approximating the traditional ECS. Moreover, the quantitative difference between this and the traditional equilibrium measure based on a CO2 doubling (with fixed ice sheets) appears to be small, albeit uncertain. This uncertainty is skewed, in the sense that long-term ECS could be substantially higher than S but is very unlikely to be substantially lower. Further work is needed to better understand and constrain this uncertainty.”
    The paper’s Section 8 states the following conclusion: “IPCC AR5 concluded that climate sensitivity is likely (≥ 66% probability) in the range 1.5-4.5 K. The probability of S being in this range is 93% in our Baseline calculation, and is no less than 82% in all other “plausible” calculations considered as indicators of reasonable structural uncertainty (seesection7.3). Although consistent with IPCC’s “likely” statement, this indicates considerably more confidence than the minimum implied by the statement. We also find asymmetric probabilities outside this range, with negligible probability below 1.5 K but up to an 18% chance of being above 4.5 K (7% in the Baseline calculation).”


  17. Kevin Hester says:

    “We were surprised that the climate sensitivity increased as much as it did with increasing carbon dioxide levels,” said first author Jiang Zhu, a postdoctoral researcher at the U-M Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.”



  18. Kevin Hester says:

    One of the reasons we are in such dire trouble is the underestimation of climate sensitivity and what the true steady state carbon balance was.
    There is an erroneous assumption that 280ppm of carbon was the ‘steady state’ carbon loading when humans had been interfering in that balance for thousands of years.
    “If early agricultural land use began warming our climate thousands of years ago, as the early anthropogenic hypothesis suggests, it implies that no ‘natural’ climate has existed for millennia.”
    There in lies the mistake.



  19. Kevin Hester says:

    “The study indicates that if calculations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of global warming by 2-4°C in the century ahead become a reality, the result may be a doubling of the harmful effects of new mutations in tropical species.”

    “Since mutations are inherited and also arise in every new generation, a marked increase in their damaging effects would have major implications both for organisms’ adaptability and for the types of adaptations we can expect to see in them if global temperatures keep rising. Our results may therefore be important for understanding how future global warming may affect biodiversity,” Berger says.
    That’s somewhat problematic considering we’re heading for 10C !


  20. Kevin Hester says:

    “I think this study is a good example of how the Earth, the Earth’s climate, and the Earth’s sea level and ice sheets – and the atmosphere and the oceans – are all an interconnected system,” says William Lipscomb”
    More proof that climate sensitivity has been grossly underestimated.



  21. Kevin Hester says:

    “But climate change has occurred with frightening rapidity in the past and will almost certainly do so again. Perhaps the most famous example is the reverse hiccup in a warming trend that began 15,000 years ago and eventually ended the last ice age. Roughly 2,000 years after it started, the warming trend suddenly reversed, and temperatures fell back to near-glacial conditions; Earth stayed cold for over a thousand years, a period called the Younger Dryas (named for an alpine wildflower). Then warming resumed so abruptly that global temperatures shot up 10 °C in just 10 years.

    Note the date of publication; September 2008 !!!!



  22. Kevin Hester says:

    Underestimating climate sensitivity was always our Achilles Heal.
    It’s no surprise to me that a violent patriarchy underestimated climate sensitivity.



  23. […] The three of us discussed the seminal work of Professor David Wasdell and his analysis that 10C is now baked into the climate system.Peter Wadhams says: May 28, 2019 at 2:59 am(Edit) […]


  24. […] has been grossly underestimated. No one wants to admit that they have failed so miserably. Full Earth System Sensitivity to CO2 has been Grossly Underestimated 4) Every scientist on the planet has watched the relentless attacks on my colleague and very dear […]

    Liked by 1 person

  25. […] underestimated “Climate Sensitivity.” I covered that catastrophic failing previously, Full Earth System Sensitivity to CO2 has been Grossly UnderestimatedWe shouldn’t be surprised that a violent patriarchy underestimated “Climate […]


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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

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