Human-caused climate change caused the hottest decade on record. 

Due to global warming, temperature records don't last long and often smash their way into hotter territory. 2010 was the hottest year on record. Then, 2014 and every year since topped the record set in 2010. The 2010s saw 17 of the 20 hottest months on record. July 2019 tied 2016 as the hottest month on record. The Earth reached the highest temperature on record—129.2°F (54°C)—twice: first in Death Valley, California on June 20, 2013 then again in Mitribah Kuwait on July 21, 2016.


The overall warming of the planet is entirely caused by human activity. 

The science is unequivocal. The latest UN global assessment report identified humans as the cause of at least 100 percent of observed warming (IPCC Synthesis Report, 2014). Similarly, the Fourth US National Climate Assessment found that​​​ the likely human contribution for the 1951–2010 change to be 93 to 123 percent (USGCRP, 2017; Wigley and Santer, 2012). A contribution of greater than 100 percent indicates that some natural forces, such as volcanoes, are working to cool the Earth, but are being overwhelmed by the effects of greenhouse gases.


Climate change is directly responsible for many heat records.

Human-caused climate change has contributed to the severity and probability of 82 percent of record-hot days globally (Diffenbaugh et al. 2017). The Northern hemisphere’s extreme heatwave in 2018 was ‘impossible’ without climate change (Vogel et al. 2019). As for annual temperature records, the global heat record in 2016 could not have happened but for climate change (Knutson et al. 2018). Climate change is also responsible for marine warming in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea from 2014–16 (Walsh et al. 2018).

Additional Resources

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[GIF] 2010-2019: THE HOTTEST DECADE ON RECORD

2019 was the second hottest year on record, capping off the hottest decade on record.

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Play How Does Climate Change Affect Heat Waves Climate Signals[VIDEO] EXTREME HEAT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Global warming has already made heat waves more intense, frequent and long-lasting.

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hotdayshotnightsunitedstates[GRAPH] HOT DAYS & NIGHTS INCREASING IN THE US

Extreme summer heat has been increasing over the United States over the past century. 

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2018: Hurricane Florence September

Sea surface temperatures along Florence's path were 3.6°F (2°C) hotter than normal.

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2016: Baton Rouge Flood August

Climate change about doubled the chances for the type of heavy downpours that caused the Louisiana flood.

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2016: Hottest Year on Record

Greenhouse gas emissions drive back-to-back-to-back global surface temperature records

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“2019 marked the end of the warmest decade in the instrumental record and looking even further back, we know that planet is warming faster than any time during the history of human civilization on this planet. ”

Katharine Hayhoe