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Summer 2023 was hottest in 2,000 years, study says

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2023 is hottest summerBased on an analysis of ancient tree rings that date back to the year 1, last summer was the hottest in the past 2,000 years, a new study released Tuesday suggests. Study authors described the warmth during the summer of 2023 across much of the Northern Hemisphere as "unparalleled."

“It’s true that the climate is always changing, but when you look at the long sweep of history, you can see just how dramatic recent global warming is,” said Jan Esper, the lead author of the study from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. “2023 warming, caused by greenhouse gases, is additionally amplified by El Niño conditions, so we end up with longer and more severe heat waves and extended periods of drought."

Of even more concern, study authors note, is that the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep warming globally to 2.7 degrees "has already been superseded at this limited spatial scale." The Paris Agreement seeks to keep warming below that level to stave off the worst impacts of human-caused climate change.

The new study was published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature.

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