On the one hand, I would like to think that we have been overstating the degree to which anthropogenic factors have influenced global warming trends. On the other hand, well, I'm one of the few people in DC who moved here at least partly so I could luxuriate in its glorious August weather. Thus my heart is quailing at the possibility that this might be true:
Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz Institute at Germany's Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.
He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September.
Last night he told The Mail on Sunday: 'A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles - perhaps as much as 50 per cent.
'They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer.
'The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling.'
I am hereby taking up a new cause: the relocation of the US capitol to, say, Raleigh.
Not that I am taking predictions of the weather all that seriously. 'Twas but a few months ago when I was reading the climate change community writing that the recent cooling trend had been a fluke, and that we were scheduled to return to record warm temperatures . . . why, this very winter!
Still, it might be worth investing in some long johns . . .