Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Science of Global Warming -- ocean warming caused by humans

Link: Science Express Highlights. (AAAS members only)

A forthcoming Science article indicates that the upper parts of all of the oceans of the world have become warmer during the past 50 years, such warming could only have been caused by the absorption of huge amounts of heat, and the warming patterns can only be explained by human activities.  The article by Barnett et al.

examines the patterns of warming on an ocean-by-ocean basis, as a function of amount, location, and time and discuss the physics responsible for the observed trends. The patterns of warming can be reproduced accurately by two different climate models only if anthropogenic forcing is included. In addition to showing that these climate models can faithfully reproduce how the oceans have responded to global warming, and by implication that they are in fact credible tools for predicting climate, these results also show that this ocean warming must be the result of radiative forcing of atmospheric greenhouse gas increases caused by human activity.

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