Apr 13, 2001

Detection of Anthropogenic Climate Change in the World's Oceans

Tim P. Barnett, David W. Pierce, Reiner Schnur
  • States that large-scale increases in the heat content of the world's oceans have been observed to occur over the last 45 years
  • States that the horizontal and temporal character of these changes has been closely replicated by the state-of-the-art Parallel Climate Model (PCM) forced by observed and estimated anthropogenic gases
  • Finds that model-produced signals are indistinguishable from the observations at the 0.05 confidence level
  • Finds that the chances of either the anthropogenic or observed signals being produced by the PCM as a result of natural, internal forcing alone are less than 5%
  • Concludes that the observed ocean heat-content changes are consistent with those expected from anthropogenic forcing, which broadens the basis for claims that an anthropogenic signal has been detected in the global climate system