A new statistical study has revealed that says that the likelihood of the 21st century’s string of record high-temperature years would be nearly impossible without the influence of man-made global warming. The study, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, says that there is only a 0.01 percent chance of this being a natural phenomenon — a one-in-ten-thousand chance.

According to NOAA, 15 of the 16 hottest years on record since 1880 occurred during the time period from 2000 through 2015. Due to the timing of the study, headed by professor Stefan Rahmstorf, it could only factor in records up through 2014, but considering 2015 was yet another record-hot year (currently in the number 1 position, beating 2014’s top spot), that makes it all the more unlikely that we’re experiencing a completely natural phenomenon. And bear in mind that 2016 is still on track to beat 2015’s record, adding to that number.

“Natural climate variations just can’t explain the observed recent global heat records, but manmade global warming can,” explains professor Rahmstorf.

“It has led to unprecedented local heatwaves across the world, sadly resulting in loss of life and aggravating droughts and wildfires. The risk of heat extremes has been multiplied due to our interference with the Earth system, as our analysis shows.” 

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