Earth’s Climate Hits a 2,000-Year High, Study Says

If you thought the summer was hot, get a load of this: The Earth has been warmer since 1980 than at any time in the past 2,000 years, according to the most comprehensive study to date of climatic history. The study authors believe their research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, provides solid confirmation that human activity is altering the climate. “You can’t explain this rapid warming of the late 20th century in any other way,” said study author Philip Jones of the University of East Anglia in the U.K. “It’s a response to a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” Jones and a colleague from the University of Virginia studied tree rings, ice cores, historical records, and other data to construct a picture of the global climate over the past 2,000 years.