Despite the onslaught of politicians attempting to project an air of question around man-made climate change, studies continue to emerge proving the connection between human actions and our changing environment. The most recent study, published in Nature Climate Change, finds an "anthropogenic fingerprint" (human influence) on our warming oceans.
The study, "Human-Induced Global Ocean Warming On Multidecadal Timescales," was conducted by researchers in the U.S., Australia, Japan and India. Based on observations of rising upper-ocean temperatures, the researchers used improved estimates of ocean temperatures to examine the causes of our warming ocean.
According to a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory press release, the study shows that over the past 50 years, observed ocean warming is explained only when greenhouse gas increases are included in the models.
Lead author and LLNL climate scientist Peter Gleckler said in the press release, "The bottom line is that this study substantially strengthens the conclusion that most of the observed global ocean warming over the past 50 years is attributable to human activities."
Gleckler added, "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."
Report co-author Dr. John Church explained to Australia's ABC News AM that "Natural variability could only explain 10 percent, or thereabouts, of the observed change."
Oceanography expert Nathan Bindoff told the news organization, "This paper's important because, for the first time, we can actually say that we're virtually certain that the oceans have warmed, and that warming is caused not by natural processes, but by rising greenhouse gases primarily." He added, "We did it. No matter how you look at it, we did it. That's it."
The recent ocean warming study has been released on the heels of other disturbing climate change reports.
Arctic monitoring stations are now measuring over 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a disturbing milestone that far surpasses the 350 ppm mark that many scientists consider the threshold separating safe from dangerous.
Researchers recently warned in Nature that the world is heading toward a tipping point of disastrous consequences driven by human-led increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising global temperatures:
"The plausibility of a planetary-scale ‘tipping point’ highlights the need to improve biological forecasting by detecting early warning signs of critical transitions on global as well as local scales, and by detecting feedbacks that promote such transitions. It is also necessary to address root causes of how humans are forcing biological changes."
Despite the ominous findings, some politicians are still attempting to project an element of doubt on issues surrounding human-induced climate change. A Virginia lawmaker recently fought to omit mentions of "climate change" and "sea level rise" from a coastal flooding study, telling the BBC, "The jury's still out" on whether humans contribute to global warming. Despite his claim, studies such as the recent ocean warming one are turning in a pretty clear verdict.
Top 10 Most Polluting Countries
We look at which 10 countries have the most CO2 emissions. Figure are preliminary 2010 numbers from the U.S. government's <a href="http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/perlim_2009_2010_estimates.html" target="_hplink">Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. </a> (Photo Getty Images)
#10 - Saudia Arabia
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 493,726 (Photo MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
#9 - Canada
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 518,475 (Photo MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
#8 - Korea
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 563,126 (Photo CHOI JAE-KU/AFP/Getty Images)
#7 - Iran
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 574,667 (Photo FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
#6 - Germany
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 762,543 (Photo JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
#5 - Japan
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 1,138,432 (Photo YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
#4 - Russia
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 1,688,688 (Photo KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
#3 - India
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 2,069,738 (Photo ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
#2 - USA
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 5,492,170 (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
#1 - China
Estimated CO2 Emissions in 2010 (in thousands of metric tonnes): 8,240,958 (Photo PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)