It is being called the most compelling evidence yet:
Scientists say they have “compelling” evidence that ocean warming over the past 40 years can be linked to the industrial release of carbon dioxide.
US researchers compared the rise in ocean temperatures with predictions from climate models and found human activity was the most likely cause.
In coming decades, the warming will have a dramatic impact on regional water supplies, they predict.
Details of the study were released at a major science meeting in Washington DC.
The conference is the annual gathering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
“This is perhaps the most compelling evidence yet that global warming is happening right now and it shows that we can successfully simulate its past and likely future evolution,” said lead author Tim Barnett, of the climate research division at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California.
The team fed different scenarios into computer simulations to try to reproduce the observed rise in ocean temperatures over the last 40 years.
They used several scenarios to try to explain the oceanic observations, including natural climate variability, solar radiation and volcanic emissions, but all fell short.
“What absolutely nailed it was greenhouse warming,” said Dr Barnett.
Anyone got a better explanation?