You probably know that 2023 was a very warm year for our planet — and that this heat is continuing into 2024. And you likely know some effects of this heat in your own region or continent — in the U.S., for instance, the Canadian wildfire smoke that covered the U.S. East Coast, the Midwest’s unusually warm winter, or the recent million-plus-acre wildfire in the Texas Panhandle.

If you live in the U.S. and happen to get most of your news from national broadcast channels ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, these big stories may be most of what you know about recent climate events. During the record-smashing year of 2023, these four TV stations spent less than 1% of their news time addressing climate change.

If you get your news from other sources, you’ll likely know more. For instance, you may have seen this stunning comment from the Deputy Director of the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, Samantha Burgess: “2023 was an exceptional year with climate records tumbling like dominoes. Not only is 2023 the warmest year on record, but it is also the first year with all days over 1°C warmer than the preindustrial period. Temperatures during 2023 likely exceed those of any period in at least the last 100,000 years.”

Still, you may sometimes lose sight of the global picture — and the critical fact that the whole planet’s climate is under stress. It’s not just the heat itself, either, but also the droughts and floods that can come with higher temperatures.

So here are some quick snapshots and summaries of what these hot months have meant around the world. In many cases, the headlines alone tell the basic story.

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