BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A team of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory claim they have the first direct evidence of human activity affecting climate change.


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The study, published this week in the journal Nature, shows that the burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide have directly led to a rise in the earth’s surface temperature.

For nearly 60 years, scientists have been measuring CO2 in the atmosphere. But up until now, there have only been indirect lines of evidence based on laboratory measurements that the planet’s climate was infected.

Daniel Feldman, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the study’s lead author, said that this time numbers from this study are different.

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“We actually made measurements in the field at two separate locations that show the effect of rising CO2 on the forcing of the system. We show that we’re actually pushing the climate towards a warmer place,” he said.

Feldman said he hopes their findings will convince global warming skeptics.

“It’s actually quite direct evidence; it’s actually independent of the laboratory measurements that were made, it’s really made out in the field,” he said.

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Moving forward, Feldman said scientists will look at other greenhouse gases and the interacting role they may play in climate change.