Studies Attribute Ocean Warming to Human Actions

NOAA and UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography ocean climate models link human activity to global warming.

Published: 12-Apr-2001

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas emissions have caused the world's oceans to heat up over the past half century, according to studies that researchers said on Thursday pointed with near certainty to human activity, not natural climate fluctuations, as the culprit behind global warming.

Research teams led by Sydney Levitus of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Tim Barnett of the University of California at San Diego's Scripps Institute of Oceanography used different climate models to simulate how ocean temperatures would respond to current greenhouse gas levels and other modern-day atmospheric conditions.

Both models predicted an amount of warming in the upper 1.9 miles of the world's oceans remarkably similar to levels actually measured, according to the studies appearing in the journal Science. Experts previously reported that the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans collectively had warmed an average of 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1955.

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