# Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity - what is the relevance of the word 'equilibrium' - why not 'climate sensitivity?'
Hope you can help.

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jim mcnamara
Mentor
Here is the precise definition and the math behind the term:
https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/345.htm

And not climate sensitivity, that is the correct full term according to the paper.

This question is vague and seems like what some folks might term as a throwaway or a lead-in question. What actually are you trying to find or explain?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity - what is the relevance of the word 'equilibrium' - why not 'climate sensitivity?'
Hope you can help.
The emphasis is the equilibrium or balanced state and the sensitivity of the system to a departure from equilibrium. Much of applied science, e.g., process engineering such as power generation, operation of aircraft or spacecraft, chemical manufacturing, is concerned about control and how the system responds to deviations or perturbations from steady-state. In health care, doctors would be concerned if one's temperature deviated more than a few degrees F, e.g., having a temperature of 104°F as compared to 97.4 to 99°F, means one has a fever. If the temperature drops much lower (body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C)), one is experiencing hypothermia.

When one's body temperature drops, one's heart, nervous system and other organs can't work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.
Ref: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352682

Seemingly small temperature differences from equilibrium can have significant consequences to a system.

jim mcnamara
Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity - what is the relevance of the word 'equilibrium' - why not 'climate sensitivity?'
Hope you can help.
At the very center of the theory of AGW, is the idea that doubling the CO2 level would create an energy imbalance
between the energy entering the top of the atmosphere and the energy leaving the top of the atmosphere for space.
This imbalance will force portions of the atmosphere to increase in temperature.
The forcing of the atmospheric gas temperature would be rather quick, but other parts of the system (Oceans, soil, ect.)
could talk much longer, even decades to come back into equilibrium with the new energy level.