JACOB ARFWEDSON (Paris)
It has the odd flavour of a déjà vu: I’m reminded of reading the papers as a child in the 1970s when global cooling was all the rage and the mediatic frenzy was about how we would all, literally and lethally, chill out.
It is refreshing then to read IPCC author prof. Mojib Latif (University of Kiel, Germany). He presented his latest findings last September at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, showing that the mean global temperature has declined since 2001 and that the planet is entering a period of cooling. Media reports on this rather surprising declaration were scarce, but the blogosphere was bubbling.
Regardless of the outcome, I can only cheer for an exceptional (cool) heads-up. Granted, this is based on computer models and we now know that empirical observation by satellite technology is far more reliable.
The IPCC also stated in 2001 that extreme events (storms, hurricanes, droughts) have not varied significantly, contrary to many media reports. Also, the supposed dramatic rise in ocean levels caused by human activities is not confirmed by satellite observations. There has been a natural increase in sea levels by 1-2 milimetres per annum for centuries and no anthropogenic effects may be recorded in this instance.
But prof. Latif’s work could perhaps bring a sea change to the discussion; it’s sorely needed.