According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2023 is on track to be the hottest year on record, with September shattering heat records around the world. The extreme heat is being caused by climate change, and it is having a devastating impact on people and ecosystems around the globe. The hottest year on record is 2016, followed by 2020 and 2019. The average global temperature in 2016 was 14.8 degrees Celsius (58.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which is 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the pre-industrial average.
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The extreme heat in recent years has been caused by the long-term warming of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere.