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Recent Ocean Warming mainly Driven by Humans

June 13, 2012; 3:20 PM ET

The observed upper-ocean warming of the past 50 years is only consistent with climate models that include the impacts of observed increases of greenhouse gas during the 20th century. The warming cannot be explained by natural events alone.

This is the first study to provide an in-depth examination of how observational and modeling uncertainties impact the conclusion that humans are primarily responsible for the warming, according to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) news release.

Overall, the world's oceans have been warming at a rate of 0.025 C per decade.

Upper oceans' heat content anomaly trend since 1993. Courtesy NOAA.

Keep in mind, the oceans account for more than 90% of the heat accumulated over the past 50 years as the earth has warmed.

Excerpt from the LLNL release.....

"Although we performed a series of tests to account for the impact of various uncertainties, we found no evidence that simultaneous warming of the upper layers of all seven seas can be explained by natural climate variability alone. Humans have played a dominant role," said Peter Gleckler, an LLNL climate scientist and lead author of the new study that appears in the June 10 edition of the journal, Nature Climate Change.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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