Over the past decade, scientists learned a great deal about the climate, much of it concerning the connection between global warming and extreme events — heat waves, hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires.

There has been, for many years, an understanding that a warmer world would be a more temperamental one, and measurements upon measurements show the average temperature is rising in step with those predictions. But until recently it was hard to prove that our changed atmosphere was having an influence on extreme events, which, after all, have been drowning and parching and starving people long before anyone started burning fossil fuels.

Asking whether climate change caused a particular wildfire or hurricane is the wrong question, said Benjamin Cook, a climate researcher with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. But in the last decade, the ability to model the climate has advanced so much, he said, that people can determine whether human-generated global warming made a storm wetter or a drought longer than it otherwise would have been. Such attribution, he said, is the biggest advance of the 2010s.