Clear evidence of human-produced global warming

Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said yesterday that they have discovered the first clear evidence of human-produced &to=http:// ' target=_blank>warming in the world's oceans, a finding they say leaves little doubt that man-made "greenhouse gases" are the main cause of global climate change.

Even if &to=http://' target=_blank>environmental changes are made immediately, researchers said, some parts of the world -- including the western United States, South America and China -- won't be able to stop dramatic water shortages, melting glaciers and ice packs, and other crises in the next 20 years.

"The implications are huge ... and in the short term, we're sort of screwed," said Tim Barnett, a marine physicist at Scripps, part of the University of California-San Diego, writes the Seattle Post.

According to the Times Online, Dr Barnett’s team examined seven million observations of temperature, salinity and other variables in the world’s oceans collected by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and compared the patterns with those predicted by computer models of potential causes of climate change.

Climate change has affected the seas in different ways in different parts of the world: in the Atlantic, rising temperatures can be observed up to 2,300ft below the surface, while in the Pacific the warming is seen only up to 330ft down.

Only the greenhouse models replicated the changes that have been observed in practice. "All the potential culprits have been ruled out except one," Dr Barnett said.

At the same time sea levels are being changed by the melting of Greenland's ice cap, which contains enough ice to raise sea levels globally by 7m, according to Ruth Curry of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Curry found that between 1965 and 1995, melting ice from the Arctic region poured into the normally salty northern Atlantic, changing the water cycle, which in turn affects ocean currents and, ultimately, climate.

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