These Were the Biggest Environmental Disasters on Earth in 2020

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2020 got off to a rocky start — and then turned into a complete climate disaster. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world went through many environmental emergencies this year. Some of them forced thousands of people to flee their homes, while others have impacted wildlife forever. According to Scientific American, the U.S. alone experienced 16 natural disasters that cost more than $1 billion in damages — each.

Many environmental experts believe that climate change played a key role in recent crises. With the Paris Agreement climate pact now approaching five years since its drafting, this topic is more important than ever. For 2020, we're highlighting the most extreme natural disasters on the planet, ranging from record-breaking forest fires to highly disturbing locust swarms, to help raise awareness about our ever-growing global climate crisis.