2011: The Year in Environmental Disasters

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2011 environmental disasters

credit: TreeHugger

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After last year's BP oil spill and other environmental disasters, hopes were high that 2011 would be a better year. But optimism faded with the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima in March, which turned out to be the crown jewel in a year of devastation around the world.

Weather disasters caused $52 billion in damage in the United States alone this year, and the rest of the planet didn't fare much better. Drought was followed by famine in East Africa and by wildfires in Texas, while Pakistan and Thailand were hit by flooding.

As 2011 draws to a close, here's a look back at the worst environmental moments of the past 12 months, with the hope that remembering the past will improve the future.