Leading German Climate Scientist Mojib Latif Caught Up In A Web Of Contradictions

Mojib Latif: three statements, three times totally off the mark

By Die kalte Sonne
(German text translated by P Gosselin)

At the end of the year, it’s usual to take a look back. That’s what we wish to do at this blog.

Leading German climate scientist Mojib Latif made three historical statements in 2012 that are worth remembering. How much truth was there in his statements of that time?


Mojib Latif on December 4, 2012 in the talkshow “Pelzig hält sich”:

I want to say one thing again. I would be glad if it were the sun. Then we really could do nothing. Yes. But it is not that. If you look at the sun’s radiation, the sun has been weaker for 50 years. And how is a weakening sun supposed to cause massive warming?”

False. The sun has actually become stronger in the last 50 years when one considers the total solar irradiance (TSI – white curve in the diagram), which also includes cosmic rays and the solar magnetic field.

Figure: Development of solar activity over the past 400 years. White curve shows total solar irradiance (TSI), yellow peaks mark sunspots. Source: PAGES2K website, downloaded in 2016.



Mojib Latif on December 4, 2012, in the talkshow “Pelzig hält sich:

Yes, you can quantify everything. That is, of course, a plain lie if it is claimed that we do not take the sun into account. There is no climate model that does not take the sun into account. I do not think we are fools. This somehow gives the impression that we are the biggest idiots of all time. It’s not like that.”

False, Mr. Latif. A look at the radiation drive in the 5th IPCC Climate Report is enough to see that the sun plays almost no role in the models. CO2: 1.68 W/m2, sun: 0.05 W/m2. The sun is made practically as a non-factor in this.

Figure: Radiation as a driver among the individual climate factors according to the 5th IPCC report. The sun plays practically no role in the IPCC.



Mojib Latif in an interview with the Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ) on September 12, 2012:

NOZ: Mr. Latif, does the sun more likely to contribute to global warming or the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, CO2?

LATIF: It’s a mix of both. It is clear that man has been responsible for more than half of the rise in temperature since the beginning of industrialization.”

Just before that in the Austrian daily Austrian daily ‘Die Presse‘ (DP) on February 9, 2012, he said the following:

DIE PRESSE: Back to the previous warming, 0.8 degrees for 100 years. For [Fritz] Vahrenholt, half comes from the sun. And at the IPCC everything comes from CO2?

LATIF: No, the IPCC never said that. It is very careful and says that about half of the warming is anthropogenic.

DIE PRESSE: Then it says the same as Vahrenholt?

LATIF: Yes, that’s what drives me crazy: An exaggerated threat is built up and then torn up with great relish.”

Again Latif is wrong. Here it’s enough to just look at the Special report of the IPCC concerning the 1.5°C target:

Reflecting the long-term warming trend since pre-industrial times, the observed mean global surface temperature in the decade 2006-2015 was 0.87 °C (probably between 0.75 °C and 0.99 °C) higher than the average for the period 1850-1900 (very high confidence).

Estimated anthropogenic global warming is consistent with the extent of observed warming within ±20% (likely range).”

In other words: According to the IPCC, the total warming observed over the last 150 years is anthropogenic.


Three Latif statements, three times over the line.

Is Latif’s criticism of the Die kalte Sonne book still valid under these circumstances? We would like to talk to Mojib Latif about it personally. After his earlier refusal, is he now perhaps ready for discussion? We hope for good climatic developments in 2019.

We wish all Die kalte Sonne blog readers – and of course Mr. Latif – a Happy New Year!


9 responses to “Leading German Climate Scientist Mojib Latif Caught Up In A Web Of Contradictions”

  1. SebastianH

    TSI is getting weaker for decades now:

    Taking the graph that the Kalte Sonne guys come up with the TSI didn’t change a lot from 1750 on, why do they expect that the influence of that tiny change should be greater than what the IPCC image says it was? A 0.1 W/m² TSI change equals a forcing change from 1750 of what exactly? 0.1 W/m² / 4 * 0.7 = 0.0175 W/m² … even the change from the minimum in that TSI graph to the maximum is small compared to anthropogenic forcing.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      TSI is getting weaker for decades now:

      That’s the PMOD data, which is model-based. The ACRIM data — which show an increase from the 1980s to 2000 — is taken directly from measurements.

      Van Geel and Ziegler, 2013
      “[T]he IPCC neglects strong paleo-climatologic evidence for the high sensitivity of the climate system to changes in solar activity. This high climate sensitivity is not alone due to variations in total solar irradiance-related direct solar forcing, but also due to additional, so-called indirect solar forcings. These include solar-related chemical-based UV irradiance-related variations in stratospheric temperatures and galactic cosmic ray-related changes in cloud cover and surface temperatures, as well as ocean oscillations, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation that significant affect the climate. … [T]he cyclical temperature increase of the 20th century coincided with the buildup and culmination of the Grand Solar Maximum that commenced in 1924 and ended in 2008.”

      “Since TSI estimates based on proxies are relatively poorly constrained, they vary considerably between authors, such as Wang et al. [40] and Hoyt and Schatten [41]. There is also considerable disagreement in the interpretation of satellite-derived TSI data between the ACRIM and PMOD groups [42,43]. Assessment of the Sun’s role in climate change depends largely on which model is adopted for the evolution of TSI during the last 100 years [44,45,46]. The ACRIM TSI satellite composite shows that during the last 30 years TSI averaged at 1361 Wm-2, varied during solar cycles 21 to 23 by about 0.9 Wm-2, had increased by 0.45 Wm-2 during cycle 21 to 22 to decline again during cycle 23 and the current cycle 24 [47]. By contrast, the PMOD TSI satellite composite suggests for the last 30 years an average TSI of 1366, varying between 1365.2 and 1367.0 Wm-2 that declined steadily since 1980 by 0.3 Wm-2. On centennial and longer time scales, differences between TSI estimates become increasingly larger. Wang et al. [40] and Kopp and Lean [48] estimate that between 1900 and 1960 TSI increased by about 0.5 Wm-2 and thereafter remained essentially stable, whilst Hoyt and Schatten [41] combined with the ACRIM data and suggest that TSI increased between 1900 and 2000 by about 3 Wm-2 and was subject to major fluctuations in 1950-1980 [46,49]. Similarly, it is variably estimated that during the Maunder Solar Minimum (1645- 1715) of the Little Ice Age TSI may have been only 1.25 Wm-2 lower than at present [40,50,51,52] or by as much as 6 ± 3 Wm-2 lower than at present [39,41], reflecting a TSI increase ranging between 0.09% and 0.5%, respectively (fig. 2).”
      Regardless, the estimates of the amplitude of solar forcing from TSI changes alone (and skeptics understand — and alarmists refuse to admit — that TSI is not the direct mechanism by which the Sun influences climate) are highly uncertain, ranging from a total change of +0.1 W m-2 to +6 W m-2 from the depths of the Little Ice Age to 2000. The +0.1 W m-2 change you believe is true is no more “certain” than the +6 W m-2 change that solar scientists have postulated.

      “There is no consensus on the amplitude of the historical solar forcing. The estimated magnitude of the total solar irradiance difference between Maunder minimum and present time ranges from 0.1 to 6 W/m2 making uncertain the simulation of the past and future climate.” (Egorova et al., 2018)

      “According to the IPCC (2013), solar forcing is extremely small and cannot induce the estimated 1.0–1.5 °C since the LIA. However, the solar radiative forcing is quite uncertain because from 1700 to 2000 the proposed historical total solar irradiance reconstructions vary greatly from a minimum of 0.5 W/m2 to a maximum of about 6 W/m2 (cf..: Hoyt and Schatten 1993; Wang et al. 2005; Shapiro et al. 2011). Moreover, it is believed that the sun can influence the climate also via a magnetically induced cosmic ray flux modulation (e.g.: Kirkby 2007) or via heliospheric oscillation related to planetary resonances (e.g.: Scafetta 2013, 2014b; Scafetta et al. 2016, and others). Since solar and climate records correlate quite significantly throughout the Holocene (cf: Kerr 2001; Steinhilber et al. 2012; Scafetta 2012, 20104b), the results shown herein may be quite realistic, although the exact physical mechanisms linking astronomical forcings to climate change are still poorly understood.” (Mazzarella and Scafetta, 2018)

      even the change from the minimum in that TSI graph to the maximum is small compared to anthropogenic forcing.

      The alleged anthropogenic forcing (i.e., +0.2 W m-2 per +22 ppm CO2) is tiny compared to the forcing inferred from observed changes in cloud cover (+2 W m-2 per decade since the 1980s).

      According to Feldman et al. (2015), the 22 ppm increase in CO2 concentration resulted in a 0.2 W m-2 per decade radiative forcing.
      Due to changes in the Sun’s geomagnetic constitution that affect changes in decadal-scale cloud cover over the course of the last 3 decades, the forcing from absorbed surface solar radiation via the reduction in cloud cover is about 10 times greater than the (tiny) alleged per decade forcing from CO2 concentration changes. And, unlike CO2, SW radiation resulting from changes in cloud cover can penetrate by 10s of meters into the ocean, whereas IR cannot penetrate past the hair-thin skin layer. Therefore, even tiny changes in cloud cover can modulate ocean heat content on magnitudes-greater scale than tiny parts-per-million (0.000001) changes in atmospheric CO2 — even assuming that the forcing values for CO2 are not just theoretical and model-based, but real.

      “Long-term variations in solar radiation at Earth’s surface (S) can affect our climate, the hydrological cycle, plant photosynthesis, and solar power. Sustained decreases in S [surface solar radiation] have been widely reported from about the year 1960 to 1990. Here we present an estimate of global temporal variations in S by using the longest available satellite record. We observed an overall increase in S [surface solar radiation] from 1983 to 2001 at a rate of 0.16 watts per square meter (0.10%) per year [1.6 W m-2 per decade].”

      “The present paper describes how the entire series of global solar radiation (1987–2014) and diffuse radiation (1994–2014) were built, including the quality control process. Appropriate corrections to the diffuse component were made when a shadowband was employed to make measurements. Analysis of the series reveals that annual mean global irradiance presents a statistically significant increase of 2.5 W m−2 (1.4 %) decade−1 (1988–2014 period)

      “[T]here has been a global net decrease in 340 nm cloud plus aerosol reflectivity [1979-2011]. … Applying a 3.6% cloud reflectivity perturbation to the shortwave energy balance partitioning given by Trenberth et al. (2009) corresponds to an increase of 2.7 W m−2 of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface and an increase of 1.4% or 2.3 W m−2 absorbed by the surface.”

      “The Earth’s climate is driven by surface incident solar radiation (Rs). Direct measurements have shown that Rs has undergone significant decadal variations. … By merging direct measurements collected by Global Energy Budget Archive with those derived from SunDu [sunshine duration], we obtained a good coverage of Rs [surface incident solar radiation] over the Northern Hemisphere. From this data, the average increase of Rs [surface incident solar radiation] from 1982 to 2008 is estimated to be 0.87 W m−2 per decade [2.3 W/m-2 total]

      “Traditionally the Earth’s reflectance has been assumed to be roughly constant, but large decadal variability, not reproduced by current climate models, has been reported lately from a variety of sources. There is a consistent picture among all data sets by which the Earth’s albedo has decreased over the 1985-2000 interval. The amplitude of this decrease ranges from 2-3 W/m2 to 6-7 W/m2 but any value inside these ranges is highly climatologically significant and implies major changes in the Earth’s radiation budget.”

      Sapozhnikova et al., 2018
      “In spite of the small changes in the solar constant, they are supposed to have a modulating influence on the local (regional) climate [Frӧhlich, 2010; Lean and Rind, 2008], which can be more sensitive to changes in the solar activity [Grey et al., 2010; Lockwood, 2012]. … The cross-spectrum and the coherency spectrum point to the relation of the cloudiness to the solar cycle, with the variations in the cloudiness occurring, according to the phase spectrum, approximately in phase with the solar cycle. The cloudiness variations modulate the solar radiation intensity at the surface level by screening the direct and increasing the diffusive radiation, and it could be the reason for the (СО2+Н2О) variations on the scale of the solar cycle period. Comparison of the phase spectra […] shows that the solar cycle-like variations of CO2+H2O are approximately in phase with the variations of the cloud cover.”

      1. SebastianH

        That’s the PMOD data, which is model-based

        How predictable you are … so is the graph that the Kalte Sonne guys used also “wrong”?

        The +0.1 W m-2 change you believe is true is no more “certain” than the +6 W m-2 change that solar scientists have postulated.

        I don’t believe anything to be true that hasn’t been measured. You claim that you do that as well, yet you base most of your interpretations of what is going on on reconstructions and thus models of the past.

        The alleged anthropogenic forcing (i.e., +0.2 W m-2 per +22 ppm CO2) is tiny compared to the forcing inferred from observed changes in cloud cover (+2 W m-2 per decade since the 1980s).

        Not one day goes past that a skeptic doesn’t try to use clouds as the explanation of everything. Somehow you feel that climate science (or really everyone else except you) are ignoring clouds 😉

        Have a nice day in your bubble of reality.

        P.S.: Don’t forget the other half of the cloud equation (yet again). What else – other than increased solar radiation on the surface – happens when cloud cover decreases. Or asked differently: the total forcing of all clouds is somewhere around 20 W/m² (as you so often cited), do you really believe the cloud cover changed by that much to cause a change of up to 6-7 W/m² of that effect? Skies must have been pretty cloudy in the 80s then …

  2. Robert Folkerts

    He said he gave up commenting as he thought it was a waste of time trying to change people’s thinking.

    Looks like he has found a lot more time to waste.
    Must be a bit like banging ones head against a brick wall.

    I would wager SebH would not be entertaining the idea of having any of his thinking changed here.

    Omniscient SebH it would seem!!

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