By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Prof. Mojib Latif is a widely sought out speaker for events and the German media, and he never passes up the opportunity to warn the public of the impending climate catastrophe. However at his his daytime job he is also a scientist, and there he publishes research results on a regular basis. On many occasions we have noticed that in his scientific papers he appears to be far less dramatic and more balanced than he is in the media. Some examples follow:
- Mojib Latif in a presentation in USA: CO2 climate sensitivity is set to high by the IPCC
- Late realization: Mojib Latif abandons CO2-fingerprint in the stratosphere and finally focusses on ocean cycles
- Mojib Latif: Models must account much more for natural variability
On April 5, 2017, in the Geophysical Research Letters there’s yet another example to behold. With his colleagues Latif examined the tropical Pacific. In the eastern and central parts temperatures have cooled over the past two decades. Climate models are having a hard time recreating this development. Latif and his group looked at this case and assumed that natural climate variability is behind it. They have not been able to find an anthropogenic impact on the temperature development in this region.
They conclude that the climate models would be too uncertain to make forecasts concerning the acting circulation in the region.
With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice if Latif mentioned this the next time he appears on a talk show? But don’t hold your breath thinking this will happen anytime soon.
It’s the two faces of Mojib Latif. It’s unclear how her goes about justifying this scientifically and ethically. What follows is the abstract with the highlighted main points:
Role of Internal Variability in Recent Decadal to Multidecadal Tropical Pacific Climate Changes
Mohammad Hadi Bordbar, Thomas Martin, Mojib Latif and Wonsun Park
While the Earth’s surface has considerably warmed over the past two decades, the tropical Pacific has featured a cooling of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in its eastern and central part, which went along with an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial Trade Winds, the surface component of the Pacific Walker Circulation (PWC). Previous studies show that this decadal trend in the Trade Winds is generally beyond the range of decadal trends simulated by climate models when forced by historical radiative forcing. There is still a debate on the origin of and the potential role that internal variability may have played in the recent decadal surface wind trend. Using a number of long control (unforced) integrations of global climate models and several observational datasets, we address the question as to whether the recent decadal to multidecadal trends are robustly classified as an unusual event or the persistent response to external forcing. The observed trends in the tropical Pacific surface climate are still within the range of the long-term internal variability spanned by the models but represent an extreme realization of this variability. Thus, the recent observed decadal trends in the tropical Pacific, though highly unusual, could be of natural origin. We note that the long-term trends in the selected PWC indices exhibit a large observational uncertainty, even hindering definitive statements about the sign of the trends.
- Pacific Walker Circulation strongly varies internally
- Anthropogenic signals in the tropical Pacific sector are hard to detect
- There is large model uncertainty about the future of the Pacific Walker Circulation”