In the first eight months of 2020, the U.S. has seen a deadly pandemic, early hurricanes and tropical storms, record heatwaves and more than 200 wildfires -- and experts predict things are only going to go downhill from here.
"It’s going to get a lot worse," says Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb. “I say that with emphasis because it does challenge the imagination. And that’s the scary thing to know as a climate scientist in 2020." Waleed Abdalati, a former NASA scientist, agrees with Cobb. "I strongly believe we’re going to look back in 10 years, certainly 20 and definitely 50, and say, ‘Wow, 2020 was a crazy year, but I miss it,'" he says.
Scientists say the reason for increasingly worse events is a combination of climate change -- caused by burning coal, oil and gas -- and the natural evolution of Earth. "The outlook could not be any more grim," Cobb says. "It’s just a horrifying prospect. The 2030s are going to be noticeably worse than the 2020s."