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What lies beneath? Understatement of Existential Climate Risks

David Klein

New report from Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration Melbourne Victoria Australia (not to be confused with the Breakthrough Institute):

What lies beneath? The Understatement of Existential Climate Risks

The report criticizes underestimation climate impacts by IPCC reports and other mainstream research.

Sample excerpts:

"The land sink (storage capacity) for CO2 appears much smaller than is currently factored into some climate models.78 Thus, future patterns of warming maybe distinctly different from past patterns, making it difficult to predict future warming by relying on past observations.


A 2016 study concluded that a soil carbon-cycle feedback “has not been incorporated into computer models used to project future climate change, raising the possibility that such models are underestimating the amount of warming that is likely to occur”.79 The projected loss of soil carbon resulting from climate change is a potentially large but highly uncertain feedback to warming, however there is likely to be strong carbon-climate feedbacks from colder northern soils.80


At the moment about one-third of human-caused CO2 emissions are absorbed by trees and other plants. But rapid climate warming and unusual rainfall patterns are jeopardising many of the world’s trees, due to more frequent drought, pest outbreaks and fires. This is starting to have profound effects on the Earth’s carbon cycle.

In 2009, researchers found that 2°C of warming could cut in half the carbon sink of tropical rainforests.81 Some tropical forests — in the Congo, and in Southeast Asia — have already shifted to a net carbon source. The tropics are now a net carbon source, with losses owing to deforestation and reductions in carbon density within standing forests being double that of gains resulting from forest growth.82 Other work has projected a long- term, self-reinforcing carbon feedback from mid- latitude forests to the climate system as the world warms.83

There has been an observed decline in the Amazon carbon sink. Negative synergies between deforestation, climate change, and widespread use of fire indicate a tipping point for the Amazon system to flip to non-forest ecosystems in eastern, southern and central Amazonia at 20–25% deforestation. Researchers say the severe droughts of 2005, 2010 and 2015-16 could well represent the first flickers of this ecological tipping point, and say the whole system is oscillating.84"