Global warming? Maybe not anytime soon, according to a top United Nations scientist.
Dr. Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences told Bavarian Radio that the so-called “pause” in global warming could continue for another three decades.
Currently, satellite datasets show that the average global temperature has not warmed in more than 18 years. Latif told BR that temperatures would start accelerating between 2020 and 2025, meaning global warming could be on pause or slowed down for the next 6 to 11 years. This could put the total time of the pause between 24 and 29 years.
Latif, who is also a top scientist with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the pause in warming was no surprise to him since he predicted the warming hiatus back in 2008.
“That does not surprise climate scientists like me at all, as for us this is completely normal,” Latif told BR. “When one takes a look at the development since 1900, that is the last 110 years, then we see that it has not always gone up. Rather it has progressed in waves. This is why it is necessary to look at long time periods.”
“If we look at the entire time period, then it is impossible to miss seeing the rise,” Latif added. “In 2008 in the journal ‘Nature’ I myself predicted the pause… Back then it created a huge echo in the global media. I’m wondering why all of this seems to have been forgotten in the meantime.”
Latif is referring to a study he did back in 2008 that found the world could be entering an era of cooler temperatures, one that could last a decade or two. But liberal pundits pointed out that Latif’s forecast only went to 2015 — everything beyond was too hard to predict (kind of makes you wonder about other century-long climate predictions).
“The reaction went in every direction. The reaction was, as you just formulated: ‘Everything can’t be so bad!” Latif said.
Think Progress’s Joe Romm wrote in 2009 that, “No, Latif does not ‘anticipate’ maybe even two decades of cooling. He doesn’t even predict it. Again, as Latif will happily tell anyone who asks, ‘my only forecast is to 2015.’”
But now that it’s 2014, Latif seems to be reiterating what people (except Romm) thought he was saying in his 2008 study: the pause could last another decade.
“In this study I expressly said that it does not mean that it’s all over, but that the temperature increase will rise even faster – starting in 2020, 2025,” Latif told BR.
Interestingly enough, a recent study by Latif made a similar veiled prediction that temperatures would cool over the next decade due to natural oceanic cycles in the North Atlantic.
“Our model tells us that the phase with a rather high surface temperatures in the North Atlantic will continue also over the coming decade, however with a slightly negative trend,” Latif and fellow scientists wrote in a study published last month.
[h/t No Tricks Zone]