The US senate have approved a symbolic but "important" amendment which ruled that climate change is real and "is not a hoax", but a second vote fell short of blaming humans.

The measure, which was attached to a bill attempting to approve the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, was approved by both Republican and Democrats by an overwhelming majority of 98-1.

The only person who voted against the measure was Republican senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

The amendment was introduced by Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He said hoped the vote would allow the Senate to "deal with reality" of climate change.

He said: "I'm hoping that after many years of darkness and blockade that this can be a first little vote beam of light through the wall that will allow us to at least start having an honest conversation about what carbon pollution is doing to our climate and to our oceans.

"This is a matter of vital consequence to my home state and to many of yours as well."

However, a second vote presented by Senator Brian Schatz failed to be passed by the Senate after not gaining the 60 vote majority needed.

The measure asked whether human activity is responsible for the climate change which they just agreed exists. Fifty senators agreed with this statement – including four Republicans – whereas 49 do not believe humans contribute to climate change.

List of senators who believe who humans don't contribute to climate change:

Barrasso, John (R – WY)

Blunt, Roy (R – MO)

Boozman, John (R – AR)

Burr, Richard (R – NC)

Capito, Shelley Moore (R – WV)

Cassidy, Bill (R – LA)

Coats, Daniel (R – IN)

Cochran, Thad (R – MS)

Corker, Bob (R – TN)

Cornyn, John (R – TX)

Cotton, Tom (R – AR)

Crapo, Mike (R – ID)

Cruz, Ted (R – TX)

Daines, Steve (R – MT)

Enzi, Michael B. (R – WY)

Ernst, Joni (R – IA)

Fischer, Deb (R – NE)

Flake, Jeff (R – AZ)

Gardner, Cory (R – CO)

Grassley, Chuck (R – IA)

Hatch, Orrin G. (R – UT)

Heller, Dean (R – NV)

Hoeven, John (R – ND)

Inhofe, James M. (R – OK)

Isakson, Johnny (R – GA)

Johnson, Ron (R – WI)

Lankford, James (R – OK)

Lee, Mike (R – UT)

McCain, John (R – AZ)

McConnell, Mitch (R – KY)

Moran, Jerry (R – KS)

Murkowski, Lisa (R – AK)

Paul, Rand (R – KY)

Perdue, David (R – GA)

Portman, Rob (R – OH)

Risch, James E. (R – ID)

Roberts, Pat (R – KS)

Rounds, Mike (R – SD)

Rubio, Marco (R – FL)

Sasse, Ben (R – NE)

Scott, Tim (R – SC)

Sessions, Jeff (R – AL)

Shelby, Richard C. (R – AL)

Sullivan, Daniel (R – AK)

Thune, John (R – SD)

Tillis, Thom (R – NC)

Toomey, Patrick J. (R – PA)

Vitter, David (R – LA)

Wicker, Roger F. (R – MS)