In GOP circles, what he said was akin to an act of treason.

Mitt Romney, the latest Republican to declare his candidacy for the presidency in 2012, said Friday that global warming is, indeed, real.

I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that, Romney told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, Reuters reported. It's important for us to reduce our emission of pollutants and greenhouse gasses that may be significant contributors.

The former Massachusetts governor answered questions on topics ranging from abortion to the debt ceiling, marking his first full day of campaigning for the 2012 Republican primary nomination.

Romney, also addressing energy policy, called on the United States to break its dependence on foreign oil and expand alternative energies.

I love solar and wind (power) but they don't drive cars. And we're not all going to drive Chevy Volts, he said referring to electric cars, Reuters reported.

And he also called for increased cooperation with other countries to combat global warming.

We don't call it America warming, we call it global warming, Romney said. And if there's going to be an effort in this, it has to be global in scope.

Considered by many to be the GOP frontrunner -- of a thin group of not-so-high-profile names -- Romney is the best financed of the confirmed candidates; last month, he managed to net $10 million in pledges at a fundraising call-a-thon in Las Vegas.