Prof Klaus Illum talks about atmospheric C02 levels and climate change

From – Klaus Illum3 February 2009

The time scales of the graphs above and below differ by a factor 1,000. The composition of the
atmosphere (H2O, NH3, N2O, CH4, O2, …..) has changed during the last hundreds of millions of
years. During the last hundred thousands of years the CO2 concentration has fluctuated at a
much lower level than previously. Climate change risk assessments should refer to the more
recent periods, not to periods millions of years ago when the atmosphere and life on Earth was
very different.

 

Fred, (Singer)

if the question concerned a particular issue of minor importance, I would’t interfere in this discussion within a field in which I have no professional qualifications.

However, this is not an issue of minor importance to mankind.

Therefore, as a citizen with some experience in reading and apprehending scientific assessments I have an obligation to take a stand in the climate discussion.

To take the position that the anthropogenic GHG emissions are of minor importance relative to natural phenomena is not merely taking an academic standpoint. It means to take on ones shoulders a heavy burden of responsibility for consequences which we will hardly live to experience ourselves.
 
In actual practice a central question is whether or not to allow the substitution of coal for declining supplies of oil and gas.
 
Regarding the CO2 concentration experiment, you say: “Nature has made the experiment for us.” referring to a graph in your paper.

Please see the note attached as my comment to that statement of yours.

I do not accept the notion of the long history of the atmosphere and the concurrent development of life on Earth as an ‘experiment’ made by nature which is comparable to the experiment of increasing the CO2 concentration by 50-100% in a climate system which has been relatively stable for the last 10,000 years or so.

Best regards

Professor Klaus Illum

12 comments on “Prof Klaus Illum talks about atmospheric C02 levels and climate change

  1. Dear Clavertonians,

    Few of us are climate change scientists, and even fewer of us have the capability of modelling the effects of increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Can those who are NOT convinced about the effects of increasing CO2 explain why increasing the amount of a known greenhouse gas by 50%, as a result of burning lots of carbon over the last 150 years, does NOT have a significant effect on the earth’s climate?

    I don’t think you are denying that the CO2 is there as a result of burning carbon, so I assume you are saying that the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are so small, compared with water vapour for example, that a 50% increase is of no consequence.

    I might be persuaded of this in an area such as the UK where our climate is dominated by cloud cover, but in many parts of the world cloud cover is much less significant and the the effects of CO2 must be proportionally higher.

    Some clarification please.

    Roger Button

  2. Klaus Illum wrote:

    Fred,

    I don’t quite see what is wrong with my analogy, were the proposition I stated above valid.
    I now take it that its not. Consequently my analogy does not apply.

    Hence, your reaction concerns the last sentence in my remark:

    “If you’re saying that the climate change which is now visible is most likely caused by natural phenomena beyond human control, I would’t bet on it, regarding the evidence to the contrary presently submitted.”

    This, in your opinion, implies that I’m an illerate regarding these matters because I could not have read the report you refer to or other papers questioning the IPCC report.

    Well, I’m not a climatologist. Yet as a commoner I seek to follow the debate and I did in fact read your report when it was published in early 2008, as far as I remember. And also number of other papers, which suggest that the IPCC is the biggest conspiracy of all times.

    However, you and your colleages in the NIPPC have not as yet convinced me that antropogenic GHG emissions should be disregarded as a risk.

    One question that bothers me concerns the present overshoot of past CO2 concentrations, please see the graph below: (on main article on this site – ED)

    []

    How can one be sure that there is no risk involved in increasing the CO2 emission by 50 – 100% above the maximum level during the past 400,000 years?

    I agree that no model can predict the result of the experiment. And, naturally, empirical historical data can only indicate what may be deemed probable trends.

    But I think that it’s a risky experiment to carry out.

    What you are saying is: ‘Go ahead. Make the experiment. No need to worry about the results’. Is it not?

    Let me add that I agree with you that the IPCC is way off limits of reason in their assessments of economic consequences of climate change.

    Best regards
    Klaus

    Dr. Klaus Illum
    ECO Consult
    Soenderhedevej
    Denmark

  3. Subject: Re: Britain’s Lost Atlantis, Mesolithic Climate Change

    Hugh

    Our friend Klaus uses the wrong analogy and seems unaware of the substantial and growing evidence against AGW.

    He should read the NIPCC report ?Nature ? Not Human Activity ? Rules the
    Climate? http://www.sepp..org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf

    Best
    Fred Singer

  4. Klaus Illum wrote:

    Hugh,

    It seems that your argument is that because climate change and sealevel rises have occurred may times throughout the history of our planet, we should not worry about the anthropogenic climate change now taking place.

    That it does not make a lot of difference whether climate change is caused by human activities, by regular changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun or whatever other changes in the natural physical conditions which influence the climate.

    That in the long run the London Underground may be inhabited by fish instead of commuters whatever we do.

    True enough, but we and our children and grandchildren do not live in that long run.

    When the captain of a ship spots rocks ahead, he should’t react by saying:

    Never mind, in the long run we’ll all be dead anyway and many ships have been wrecked in the past. The human reaction is to change course so as to avoid the dangers ahead.

    If you’re saying that the climate change which is now visible is most likely caused by natural phenomena beyond human control, I would’t bet on it, regarding the evidence to the contrary presently submitted.

    With best wishes

    Klaus

  5. From – Hugh Sharman.

    Subject: Britain’s Lost Atlantis, Mesolithic Climate Change

    Friends and family,

    If you have not already heard it, you have only 2 days to listen again to the splendid and inspirational half hour documentary at

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gw18s

    This describes how, as sea levels rose 120 meters during the last 18,000 years, what we now call the UK was part of the European landmass and became an island, shrinking by half.

    “Doggerland”, 120 miles east of Norfolk, now more than 50 meters under sea level, was countryside inhabited by surprisingly sophisticated hunter gatherers all of whom had to flee a sea level that did not stop rising until about 5,000 years ago.

    Climate change was not linear. At one point about 16,600 years ago, the temperature rose from -10 deg to + 10 deg within the space of 50 years, asserts one observer. He did not mention how on earth people were able to survive and thrive at such low temperatures.

    Whatever, if climate change interests you, or even if it does not, this is an un-missable programme. I cannot help observing that such severe and rapid climate change had nothing whatsoever to do with anthropogenic activities!

    best regards,

    Hugh Sharman http://www.incoteco.com

    Read about what is really causing warming

    Unstoppable Global Warming : Every 1500 Years

    (Natural climate cycles as seen in the geological record)

    by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery

    Updated and improved from 2007 edition

    Rowman & Littlefield (2008) 278pp. $19.95 plus $5 S&H

    On New York Times Best-seller list

    S. Fred Singer,

  6. Klaus Illum wrote:

    Fred,
    if the question concerned a particular issue of minor importance, I would’t interfere in this discussion within a field in which I have no professional qualifications.
    However, this is not an issue of minor importance to mankind.
    Therefore, as a citizen with some experience in reading and apprehending scientific assessments I have an obligation to take a stand in the climate discussion.

    To take the position that the anthropogenic GHG emissions are of minor importance relative to natural phenomena is not merely taking an academic standpoint. It means to take on ones shoulders a heavy burden of responsibility for consequences which we will hardly live to experience ourselves.

    In actual practice a central question is whether or not to allow the substitution of coal for declining supplies of oil and gas.

    Regarding the CO2 concentration experiment, you say: “Nature has made the experiment for us.” referring to a graph in your paper.
    Please see the note attached as my comment to that statement of yours.
    I do not accept the notion of the long history of the atmosphere and the concurrent development of life on Earth as an ‘experiment’ made by nature which is comparable to the experiment of increasing the CO2 concentration by 50-100% in a climate system which has been relatively stable for the last 10,000 years or so.

    Best regards

    Klaus

  7. Klaus

    Let’s resume this exchange a few centuries from now –when Denmark may again be covered by several km of ice.

    Meanwhile — try to stay warm, my friend
    Fred

  8. Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 5:18 PM
    Subject: Re: Britain’s Lost Atlantis, Mesolithic Climate Change

    Klaus

    Let’s resume this exchange a few centuries from now –when Denmark may again be covered by several km of ice.

    Meanwhile — try to stay warm, my friend

    Fred Singer
    Heartland Institute

    PS Are you the owner of Illum’s Bawdyhouse (as I call it ) on Stroeget? Just joking.
    Lighten up and don’t worry so much about mankind

    ………………………………………..
    From Klaus Illum:
    Subject: The need for indecency and insult. Re: Britain’s Lost Atlantis, Mesolithic Climate Change

    Not coming from the wild west, I did’t know what a bawdyhouse is. But now I do. My wife told me.
    Thus I note that S. Fred Singer needs to be not only arrogant but also indecent and insulting to fend off the questions I posed.

    This reflects the character of the Heartland Institute and the companies which contribute to the financing of its activities.

    Klaus Illum

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