OSLO (Reuters) - A record-breaking string of hot years since 2000 is almost certainly a sign of man-made global warming, with vanishingly small chances that it was caused by random, natural swings, a study showed on Monday.
Last year was the hottest since records began in the 19th century in a trend that almost all scientists blame on greenhouse gases from burning of fossil fuels, stoking heat waves, droughts, downpours and rising sea levels.
"Recent observed runs of record temperatures are extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused global warming," a U.S.-led team of experts wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.
Written before 2015 temperature data were released, it estimated the chance of the record run - with up to 13 of the 15 warmest years all from 2000 to 2014 - was between one in 770 and one in 10,000 if the series were random with no human influence.
"Some would call it happiness, but I like to think that what I found is me. That sounds simple enough, but the truth is, it took quite a while to do it."
- Willie Nelson
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