The data show that the tropical SST increase is global in nature and occurs consistently in each of the ocean basins (Figure 2.3). The surface temperature trends over the last century have been extensively studied, as summarized in the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC (IPCC, 2001). Detection-attribution studies comparing observations with climate model simulations clearly indicate that the global surface temperature trend since 1970 (including the trend in tropical SSTs) cannot be reproduced in climate models without inclusion of the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The climate model simulations are the basis for attributing the increase in tropical SSTs to anthropogenic greenhouse warming.
A number of natural internal oscillations of the atmosphere/ocean system have been found to have a large impact on SST (for example, El Niño, North
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