We already knew that the summer of 2023 was the hottest on record, but our records only date back as far as the 19th Century. Now, thanks to new research, we are able to determine that last year was the hottest year since the height of the Roman Empire.

Scientists at Yale University used the rings found inside trees, which keep a record of past temperatures, to be able to determine that it has been 2,000 since the northern hemisphere experienced such temperatures.

The heatwave, which saw temperatures soar to unbearable levels in many countries measured on average 2.2 degrees warmer than the pre-industrial average.

Study co-author, Ulf Büntgen, of the University of Cambridge, said: “When you look at the long sweep of history, you can see just how dramatic recent global warming is. 2023 was an exceptionally hot year, and this trend will continue unless we reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.”