2010s

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Years: 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens"[1] or "two thousand (and) tens" or "tens")[2][3][4][5] is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2010 and will end on December 31, 2019.

Mixed pronunciation

There is some disagreement among experts and the general public on how to pronounce specific years of the 21st century in English.[6] While most people pronounce the years 2000 to 2009 as "two thousand (and) _",[citation needed] the pronunciation of the 2010s has been mixed. Using the current year as an example, 2016 is referred to by some people as "twenty-sixteen", while by others as "two thousand (and) sixteen." This mixed pronunciation still occurs.[2] It is possible that the pronunciation "two thousand (and) _" will eventually fall into disuse by the 2020s.[citation needed]

Global financial crisis

The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the Eurozone debt crisis, which began during 2009, continued into the 2010s. Despite the crisis, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom.[7] However, economic issues, including inflation and an increase in commodity prices, sparked immense unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly those in the Arab world, political unrest evolved into socioeconomic crises. This set off numerous revolutions, including those in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. This trend is commonly known as the Arab Spring.

Politics and wars

Wars

The prominent wars of the decade thus far include:

International wars

Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions

  • Arab Spring (December 17, 2010 – present) – a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests in the Arab world that began Friday, December 17, 2010. In December 2010, protests began in Tunisia and Algeria. On January 14, 2011, the President of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, resigned after 23 years as President. On January 25, 2011, protests against President Hosni Mubarak began in Egypt. Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2011. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won an Egyptian presidential election in 2012. In November 2012, protests against Morsi began, intensifying in June 2013. On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian military ousted Morsi in a coup d'état. Post-coup violence in Egypt continues until today. Protests against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-rule then began in Libya, later developing into a nationwide uprising, and, eventually, a civil war. Gaddafi was ousted from power on August 23, 2011, and was killed on October 20, 2011. At the same time, protests started across numerous other Arab countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. On March 15, 2011, protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began in Syria. In April 2011, the uprising intensified, and the Syrian Army was deployed by the government to quell the popular uprising. In 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the Syrian conflict had become a civil war, and fighting between the regime forces and the opposition intensified. The Syrian civil war continues today.
    • Libyan Civil War (February 15 – October 23, 2011) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. The widespread demonstrations, which erupted in response to the high unemployment rate in Libya and the lack of development in the country, rapidly escalated into a civil war as Gaddafi used his military force against the Libyan rebels. As a result, fifty thousand Libyans have died.[13] The civil war came to an end when Gaddafi was killed during the Battle of Sirte on October 20, 2011.
    • Syrian Civil War (March 15, 2011 – present) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April 2011, the Syrian Army deployed tanks, and other weapons, in an attempt to quell the protests. However, the opposition forces soon became more organized, eventually resulting in the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the 18-month uprising was a civil war.
  • Mexican Drug War (2006–present) – an armed conflict fought between rival drug cartels and government forces in Mexico. Mexican drug cartels have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. They now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States.[14] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, has led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.[15][16][17] More than 28,299 people were killed between December 2006 and November 2010.[18]
  • War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present) – an armed conflict between the Pakistani Armed Forces and Islamic militants made up of local tribesmen, the Taliban, and foreign Mujahideen (Holy Warriors). The conflict began in 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistani Army's search for al-Qaeda members in Pakistan's mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) escalated into armed resistance by local tribesmen. The violence has displaced 3.44 million civilians[19] and more than 7,000 civilians have been killed.[20]
  • Shia insurgency in Yemen (2004–2010) – a civil war in the Sadaa Governorate of Yemen. It began after the Shia Zaidiyyah sect launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government has accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency.[21] Thousands of rebels and civilians have been killed during the conflict.[22][23]
  • War in Somalia (1992 –present) – involved largely the forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, who fought against various militant Islamist factions for control of the country. The violence has displaced thousands of people residing in Mogadishu, the nation's capital. 1,739 people in total were killed between January 1, 2009 until January 1, 2010.[24]
  • Conflict in the Niger Delta (2004–present) – an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The conflict arose from tensions between the foreign oil corporations and a number of the Niger Delta's minority ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited, particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaw. The competition for oil wealth has led to a cycle of violence between the local ethnic groups, causing the militarization of nearly the entire region which was occupied by militia groups as well as Nigerian military and the forces of the Nigerian Police.
  • Civil war in Chad (2005–2010) – involved Chadian government forces and several Chadian rebel groups. The government of Chad estimated in January 2006 that 614 Chadian citizens had been killed in cross-border raids.[25] The fighting continues despite several attempts to reach agreements.
  • Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)Algeria has been the subject of an Islamic insurgency waged by the Sunni Islamic Jihadist militant group Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). GSPC allied itself with the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb against the Algerian government. The conflict has since spread to other neighbouring countries.
  • Colombian Armed Conflict (1964–present) – has changed substantially after the government of Alvaro Uribe. President Juan Manuel Santos took office in 2010 and seeks to continue Uribe's policy about terrorism. The FARC and ELN guerrillas are weaker than ever and divided, with the latter calling for peace talks with the government. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces have demobilized, but irregular drug-trafficking forces called "Bacrim" have gained control over much of the areas that the AUC paramilitaries previously held. The "Bacrim" gangs have allied with guerrillas in some regions of the country such as Chocó and Antioquia.
  • Northern Mali conflict (2012–2013) – a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali begun in January 2012. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, Tuaregs captured all of Northern Mali. In April 2012, the "Independent State of Azawad" was declared by the MLNA, a Tuareg organization. Islamist groups Ansar Dine, AQIM and MOJWA seized Northern Mali from the MLNA and imposed sharia law in the region. France and various African states are helping the Malian military to recapture most of Northern Mali.

Coups

The most prominent coups d'état committed against the ruling governments during the decade include:

Terrorist attacks

The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include:

Nuclear weapons controversies

  • Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become a source of tension due to fears that Iran could divert civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to Iran's nuclear program, thus furthering Iran's economic isolation. In February 2009, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said that Iran would be unable to create a nuclear weapon prior to 2013.[26]
  • In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a treaty in Prague to reduce the stockpiles of nuclear weapons in both nations. A week later, U.S. President Barack Obama hosted a Nuclear Security Summit where the attending nations decided to secure their nuclear arms to make sure no terrorists could gain access to these weapons of mass destruction. South Korea was selected to hold the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012.
  • During the 2013 Korean crisis, North Korea's actions suggested a risk that North Korea might launch a nuclear attack against the United States, Japan or South Korea.

Cyber security and Hacking incidents

  • Cyber security incidents (such as incidents of hacking, leaks or theft of sensitive information) have long been a concern of governments, corporations, and personal computer users. Such incidents have been addressed by the media since the 1980s, but the 2010s saw an increased visibility and intensity of incidents. Many were related to cyber security involving governments, activist movements, corporations, hackers and hacker groups. As a result, cyber security became an increased focus of governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.

WikiLeaks

  • The international new-media non-profit organization WikiLeaks published three massive sets of documents pertaining to the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and US diplomacy, which, respectively, were released in April, July, and November 2010. Each was accompanied by heavy and extensive week-long coverage in news media all over the world, and had a strong impact on the global political landscape, with strong reactions from leaders within many major countries.

Prominent political events

The prominent political events of the decade so far include:

Americas
Obama and Medvedev signing the New START treaty in Prague.
Asia
Benigno S. Aquino III taking his oath of office as the 15th President of the Philippines.
Europe
Benedict XVI in popemobile at his final Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 February 2013.
Africa
2011 Egyptian revolution: Demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 8, 2011
Oceania

Gallery of notable world leaders

Note: State leaders in bold have led their respective states throughout this decades' entirety, without interruption, as of January 2019.

Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts of the decade so far include:

Disasters

The most prominent disasters of the decade so far include:

Non-natural disasters

Aviation and naval disasters

Pollution disasters

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on May 24, 2010
  • April 20, 2010 – An explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive-scale oil spill[46] that became the worst environmental disaster in United States history.[47] On June 18, 2010, oceanographer John Kessler said that the crude gushing from the well contains 40 percent methane, compared to about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Methane is a natural gas that could potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," stated Kessler.[48] On June 20, an internal BP document was released by Congress revealing that BP estimated the flow could be as much as 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons) per day under the circumstances that existed since the April 20 blowout.[49][50]
  • On July 15, 2010, the BP oil spill was finally stopped, 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

Natural disasters

Damage in downtown Port-au-Prince, 13 January 2010
Chileans look at tsunami-provoked damage in the city of Pichilemu, following the 2010 Chile earthquake.
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami: An aerial view of tsunami damage in Tōhoku
The eye of Irene as viewed from the International Space Station
Animated enhanced infrared satellite loop of Typhoon Haiyan from peak intensity to landfall in the Philippines

Epidemics

Economics

The Great Recession, which began in the year 2007, ended in mid-2009. In the United States, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believe the country is still in a recession.[69] Some economists believe that the 'recession' has not only continued, but is actually a mild economic depression much like the Great Depression of the 1930s.[70] There is an energy crisis in the world due to the protests and riots in the Middle East and North Africa.[71][72] Production of conventional crude oil plateaued in 2004 at 74 million barrels per day.[73] Because new sources of energy are still being developed, industrialized nations are still vulnerable to loss of supply, such as the relatively small output that was shut off during the Libya civil war, and the failure of releases from strategic reserves to stem high prices.[74][75] The International Energy Agency has found that global crude oil production reached its apex in 2006, meaning production from currently producing oil fields is forecast to drop and future oil supply projections represent unconventional sources of crude, a prediction it admits is less than certain.[76][77][78] Another school of opinion attributes the high energy prices in the western world to government regulation.[79]

A sovereign-debt crisis in Europe began in early 2010, and the Greek government admitted that it was having difficulties servicing its large sovereign debt. Speculation abounded that it would be unable to make required bond payments due in 2010, causing the Euro to drop in value versus the US dollar and pushing the Greek/German yield spread to almost 4%. In May 2010, Eurozone leaders agreed to a billion euro three-year rescue package.[80] However, by the following year, the country's fiscal condition had not improved.[81] In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spike above 6 percent.[82]

China becomes the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan.[83] China currently faces out-of-control inflation, a real estate bubble, and troubling demographics that will lead to a shrinking labour force, all of which could lead to a collapse of the Chinese economy.[84][85][86]

Debt struggles plague advanced countries. The crisis in Greece fuels growing fears of contagion.[87] Beyond Greece, European countries such as Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia see their credit rating downgraded.[88][89][90][91][92] In August 2011, the S&P downgrades the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus.[93] In September 2011 Italy is downgraded by S&P from A+.[94] Japan also sees a rating downgrade due to debt burden.[95] In October 2011 European leaders devised another Greek debt agreement in which private banks that loaned Greece money agreed to voluntarily write down or revalue Greek debt by 53.5%. Overall losses for private bondholders would be above 70 percent when accounting for the new bonds' longer repayment period and lower interest rate.[96] The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion.[97]

Society and trends

The 2010s are notable for being the first full decade in which the population of Earth has been more urban than rural; the portion of the human population living in cities and urban areas reached 50% in 2007.[98]

The world population is projected to peak at 9 billion by 2050, and many countries reported declining fertility rates in the 2010 census.[99] Society by the 2010s is still being accustomed to the huge changes globalization and digital technology make in everyday life, with many young people growing up spending their entire lives exposed to microchip technology.[100] At the same time, the world was still grappling with the Great Recession that began in 2007 and continued into the first half of the 2010s.

An aging population

The 2010s have been a period of concern for some time to governments and economists due to the fact that it is the decade in which most of the baby boomers in developed nations will retire, putting pressure on their pension programs. An aging society and its consequences have been felt hardest in Europe, Russia, and Japan, which have been experiencing a trend of dramatic population decline over the past few decades.[101][102][103] Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation.[104] As a result, the nation is looking into numerous societal solutions to caring for the elderly, including providing robots able to aid in daily tasks and nursing.[105][106] In the United States, proposals have been made to reforming Medicare and Social Security, including raising the age of retirement or abolishing certain programs entirely.[107][108][109][110][111]

Reforms to pensions are a volatile subject politically, and lead to major protests from the public. In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age to 60 from 62, despite widespread demonstrations against the change.[112] A few years later, during the Hollande administration, the retirement age was lowered back to 60.[113]

Political polarization

In the United States and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere, political polarization continues and/or increases as conservatives and progressives clash over the role of government and other social, economic, and environmental issues. Polls in the US continue to show a divided electorate regarding job creation, debt reduction, and taxation.[114][115][116][117][118][119] Several street protest movements that have been described as "Islamophobic" have developed, especially in western Europe with groups such as the English Defence League and Pegida.[120][121]

LGBT

Acceptance of LGBT people slowly increases across the world, with significantly higher levels of support among younger generations than among older generations—though a growth in all age groups has occurred.[122][123][124] For the first time, in June 2011, the United Nations passed a motion in support of LGBT rights across the world, 21 years after the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases.[125][126] Although many nations already allowed for gays to serve openly in the military, a major milestone in LGBT history was made in September 2011 when the United States joined that list by abolishing its Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.[127][128] The issue of marriage for same-sex couples is an ongoing debate in many nations, but over eighteen nations and all fifty states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (as of June 27, 2015). In most cases, votes to legalize same-sex marriage fall along a strict-party line vote with leftist parties favoring legalization and more conservative ones favoring no recognition at all. However, as the culture continues to shift more supportive, conservatives are growing more comfortable with marriage equality as was the case for New York's effort to legalize same-sex marriage and the ongoing debate in the United Kingdom, where legalization of same-sex marriage has been seen as a priority by the Conservative Party.[129][130][131][132][133] In May 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting United States president to support same-sex marriage.[134] Polls found that by 2012, 53% of Americans supported gay marriage, up dramatically from six years prior when just over one-third of respondents believed it should be legal. In addition, less than four out of ten Americans believed that marriage for gay and lesbian couples should be illegal.[135] Ireland, in 2015, became the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage via referendum.[136]

While many western countries are becoming more accepting and tolerant towards gays and lesbians, some nations, such as Russia, have not seen attitudes shift in the same fashion. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized expression of homosexuality.[137] Prior to its passage, St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on homosexual expression, and banned pride events as well.[138] Russia's actions brought concern to many human rights organizations and free speech proponents, even pushing for a boycott of Russian products and the 2014 Winter Olympics, which were held in Sochi.[139][140]

Youth culture

Youth culture such as skateboarding continues to spread to countries such as Afghanistan.[141] Internet memes grew in popularity across the Internet since around late 2009, although they existed as far back as the web's infancy in the 1990s. Current trends set Internet memes to grow hugely and enter the mainstream of TV and general entertainment in the coming years. In 2013, Baauer's "Harlem Shake" is the first Internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as Internet memes become mainstream and not a "geek" counterculture.

The youth of the 2010s have also been considered to be the "best-behaved generation on record." In May 2014, the Centers for Disease Control released a report stating that teenage pregnancies and their uses of drugs and alcohol have continued a downward trend to reach record lows since the centers first began collecting data in the 1950s.[142] A similar survey conducted in 2013 showed that the rate of teenagers smoking dropped to 15.7%, the rate of teenagers having underage sex dropped to 34%, and the rate of teenagers getting in a physical fight dropped to 25%, everything much lower compared to their teen counterparts 22 years earlier.[143] Some theories for explaining this drop in rebelliousness among teens include easier access to the Internet that provides more awareness while taking away shock value, and stronger child-parent relationships.[144] However, the popularity of e-cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products among teenagers has continued to rise.[145]

One controversial Youth Culture trend has been the rise of Social Justice culture among millennials and post-millennials, particularly within the context of internet culture. This culture has drawn media attention due to controversies such as GamerGate, in which Social Justice-focused internet communities and bloggers reacted to perceived misogyny on behalf of video gamers and gamer culture. These bloggers and movements have at times been derogatorily referred to as "Social Justice Warriors", under the assumption by their critics that they take political correctness to extremes. This controversy and aspect of 2010s youth culture also manifested itself in several events on college campuses, such as the University of Missouri protests in late 2015 and the protesters' interactions with the media.

Other societal trends

New urbanism and urban revival continue to be forces in urban planning in the United States and other developed countries.[146] However, evidence shows that growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.[147]

Environmentalism slowly continues to become mainstream, though action on curbing fossil fuels has been limited in its success.[148]

The world's major civilizations are now interacting more than ever in history, creating tensions but also bringing new ideas to cultures that previously did not have them. This occurs more often not only physically but in cyberspace, radically changing the economic and social fabric in virtually every part of the world. China, considered an emerging power in the 1990s and 2000s, has increasingly been called a superpower in the early 2010s, including at the 2011 meeting between Hu Jintao and Barack Obama. This is confirmed by China overtaking the U.S. as the world's largest trading nation, filing the most patents, increasing its military buildup, landing its lunar rover Yutu on the moon, ending the nearly four-decade malaise of moon exploration, and creating China's Oriental Movie Metropolis as a major film and cultural center. China is projected to have the world's largest economy by 2018 with an estimated GDP per capita equal to the US by the late 2050s.[149] However, this could all change dramatically in the coming years as China's economy is very unpredictable and may falter.[150]

Individuality and uniqueness continues to be increasingly valued as opposed to conformism. A well noted example of this are baby names, which have become far more individualized since the 1960s, but especially since the 1990s and the introduction of the Internet.[151] However, in spite of this focus on individuality, subcultures such as goth, grunge, emo, and punk are no longer as ubiquitous as they have been in the past, though hipster culture has been a major individualistic, subcultural identity in the 2010s - distinguished in large part by its focus on individuality, combination of ironic fascination with pop culture nostalgia and critical stances on current events combined with idealistic aspirations. Hipster culture is also distinctive in its relatively understated and socially accepted appearance in contrast to other/previous major subcultures.

In America, migration to the Sun Belt, large during the last decades of the 20th century and the 2000s decade, declines; migration in general around the US has been in decline since the beginning of the 1980s,[152] reaching their lowest levels since information began being kept in 1948.[153]

AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, becomes a treatable condition; though only one case has been cured,[154] the disease is no longer a death sentence and with good treatment victims can generally expect to live normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only a bit more than 5 million of the 12 million people who need drugs for AIDS get them and hence many people still die from the disease.[154]

Ufology, and New Age thought in general, has seen a decline in popularity compared to its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s, there were well over 100 groups involved in UFO research in the UK; in 2013 this number declined to about 30.[155]

Science and technology

List of years in science (table)

Science

NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars on 5 August 2011
The first collisions of CERN's Large Hadron Collider took place on 31 March 2010.

Technology

Technological Trends of the Decade

Information and communications

  • 2010 – Sales for PCs steadily decline as more and more people purchase tablet computers and laptop convertibles.[166]
  • April 2010 – Apple Inc. launches the iPad, its first tablet computer, which offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, ebooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows, videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, and video games. The iPad soon became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech gadget in history.[167] Other tablets from various manufacturers are released throughout the decade on the market.
  • February 2011 – The IPv4 internet addresses officially ran out. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.[168]
  • March 2011 – More than 2 billion people used the Internet.[169]
  • Sometime in 2011 – One billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.[170]
  • June 2011 – Mobile phone apps, introduced in the late-2000s, explode in popularity; Americans spent more time using apps than using the World Wide Web.[171]
  • 2012 – Tablet and smartphone sales overtook netbooks for the first time, and netbook sales fell by 25 percent, year-on-year.[172]
  • 2012 – Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world.
  • 2012 – Google Chrome became the world's most used web browser, displacing former long-time frontrunner Internet Explorer.[173]
  • 2012 – The Wikimedia Foundation, through its German chapter Wikimedia Deustschland starts developing Wikidata, its first new project in six years. The initial software development is sponsored by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Google.
  • 2013 – The people living in developed countries used more smartphones than feature phones as the sales and users declined steadily for the first time.
  • 2013 – Streaming media and rental kiosk services such as Netflix and Redbox overwhelm the movie rental market and force national chains like Blockbusters to close.[174]
  • 2014 - 18 – Transparent display screens that were once considered science fiction are released into the mainstream, along with 3D glass pyramid holograms and curved touchscreen displays.
  • 2019 – Supercomputers are projected to reach exaflop scale.[175]

Space

  • 2011 July – The United States' Space Shuttle program draws to a close with the successful landing of its last mission, STS-135, flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis.
  • 2012 May – SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft becomes the first private commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station, marking a major achievement for the commercial spaceflight industry as the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with another spacecraft.
  • 2012 – Planetary Resources became the first asteroid mining company to announce publicly its intention to mine valuable resources from asteroids – a goal that, if achieved, would provide enormous economic value to the world.
  • 2012 August – The United States lands the Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater on Mars.
  • 2013 December – The Chinese Chang'e 3 lands on the Lunar surface marking the first Lunar landing in 37 years. Chang'e 3's landing site is located in Mare Imbrium. The landing makes China the third nation in history to land on the Moon, along with the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • 2014 December – The Orion spacecraft completes its first test, an unmanned orbital and reentry flight.
  • 2015 December – A Falcon 9 rocket successfully lands, becoming the first such rocket to make a successful return and vertical landing.

Transport

Software and legal issues

Medicine and biotechnologies

  • The ethics and consequences of indefinite life extension begin to be considered as the technology becomes more feasible, with scientific research into aging expanding.[180] In 2013, Google creates Calico in order to research ways to combat aging.

Additional notable world-wide events

Popular culture

Architecture

File:Burj Khalifa building.jpg
The Burj Khalifa became the world's tallest building when completed in 2010.

Postmodernism and green design[188][189] are common themes present in architecture of the decade. The aftermath of the energy crisis and the threat of peak oil have pushed developers to create structures that are as sustainable as possible, whether through the use of natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation, or other cost-saving means.[190] Architect Bjarke Ingels, known for designing the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010, has proposed a type of "hedonistic sustainability" to create a balance between playful art and sustainability.[191] China and the Middle East have been regarded as the "architect playgrounds" of this decade.[192][193][194][195] Many iconic structures, including the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, are located in these regions of the world. Dubai's development has been slowed by the global recession,[196] but China continues to flourish in its development towards a modern nation.[197] In fact, China is pushing Shanghai to become a global financial center by 2015.[198][199] As China continues to develop, it will continue struggling to provide energy for its 1 billion strong population. China's Three Gorges Dam became fully operational in 2011 and is one of the world's largest gravity dams.[200]

A supertall skyscraper race began in the late-2000s, and in 2010, Dubai's Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft). The title is not expected to last long because other projects, expected to rise even higher, have been proposed or approved. One example is the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia.[201]

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest railway tunnel, is scheduled for completion in 2017 or 2018. One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

Fashion

The 2010s (2010–present) have, thus far, been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1980s (2010–13), early 1990s and skater fashions.[202] In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends have remained popular in Europe, the US, Latin America, Australasia and Asia, especially the indie pop and grunge look which largely draws upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock and contemporary alternative fashion.

Latin American teens and young adults, who began keeping up with general Western fashion more closely since the mid-1990s, proved to be more conservative upon maintaining or abandoning 2000s trends than their European and North American peers until about 2013.[citation needed] The Hipster subculture, as well as "Thrift Shop" look, have also, thus far, had a considerable impact upon mainstream fashion throughout the decade. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (cosmic, clouds, historic architecture, and tribal) have been a noticeable fashion trend.

In many Western countries, the growing of a full beard became a popular trend among young males in the early-to-mid 2010s, with some suggesting this was due to the influence of the hipster subculture and the Movember campaign.[203][204]

Notably, in North America in particular, fashions have not only become more minimalistic but also become much less colorful than they have been in the past, with earth tones becoming considered the most acceptable color palette for fashionable clothing. A result of this is that statedly dark or monochrome clothing has been viewed as unfashionable in North America during the 2010s, with pinstripes and dark suits or shirts considered a fashion faux-pas. Additionally, bright pastels and neon colors are also considered highly unfashionable.

Film and television

Film and television, two industries that have dominated pop culture for a large part of the last century, are now finding themselves struggling to maintain their influence.[205] The struggles plaguing the music industry in the previous decade have begun to catch up to other mediums, for example the consequences of ever-increasing online usage by consumers. Internet piracy was a major concern for the industry as well and a reluctance to adapt to consumer demand through online venues is even further harming the industry's image.[206] In 2008, the industry launched the joint venture video site Hulu to combat numerous concerns about piracy from other video-sharing sites.[207] As of 2010, Hulu was contemplating a US$2 billion IPO.[208] As of 2012, Viacom is pursuing a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.[209] Furthermore, governments began looking at ways to combat internet piracy. In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the infamous SOPA and PIPA bills which were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry but widely unpopular among the general population.[210] Despite government efforts to debate the issue, internet piracy is still expected to be a major concern throughout the decade.[211][212]

Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters unsubscribed in favour of online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime service, which offer lower costs to consumers.[213][214] These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.[215]

TV sets, such as the Samsung SmartTV, start integrating the internet into traditional television. This gives more traditional and higher quality choices than cable, along with more family friendly middle class entertainment.

Although not a new technology, 3D films saw a resurgence in popularity after the long-awaited release of James Cameron's Avatar in late-2009.[216][217][218] In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion.[219] The box office success of other 3D releases that year assured the film industry that 3D movies were not a fad.[220][221] In addition, the video game and television industries began to look into utilizing the 3D trend by releasing their own 3D products and services.

Animated films in the 2010s remain predominately computer-generated. Traditional 2D animation has struggled in recent years and is seen by some industry giants like Michael Eisner to be an outdated art form or a casualty to the rise of CGI-based films.[222][223] Japanese anime still remain fairly popular 2D mediums globally, and may be the exception to this trend.[224] Traditionally animated television shows for children also remain popular with audiences of all ages, including, Adventure Time, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Phineas and Ferb, and SpongeBob SquarePants. In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide.[225] Established long-running 2D animated sitcoms are still widely popular as well.[226]

The American soap opera format slides in popularity as reality television and daytime talk shows continue to move in on their time slots.[227][228] All My Children and One Life to Live, both globally broadcast series that have been on the air for decades, are cancelled, but return in 2013 as online broadcasts through a joint arrangement of Hulu and Prospect Park Productions.[229] Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.[230]

In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Director for the 2009 movie The Hurt Locker.[231]

Continuing from the 2000s, superhero films from have reached greater levels of popularity to a global audience, becoming mainstays at the box office each year.[232]

Academy Award for Best Picture winners

Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival

César Award for Best Film winners

Best films of the Sight & Sound annual poll

Music

EDM, synthpop, indie, and trap see mainstream success throughout the early to mid 2010s, making a sound that differentiates 2010s music from the popular music styles of the early 2000s. R&B and hip-hop, which were popular in the 1990s and 2000s decline in popularity c. 2009 – c. 2011 with more electropop and indie influenced sounds. Hip-hop makes a slight comeback around 2013 but is not as mainstream as in the 1990s and 2000s.[255][256] There were musical paradigm shifts in the previous decade with regard to how people obtain and listen to music including the rise of the MP3 format,[257][258] televised national musical contests,[259] and the declining influence of the recording industry, all of which have had major effects on the state of music globally in a relatively short period of time.[260][261][262] According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music sales in 2012 topped the physical sale of music.[263]

With regard to popular music, the heavy use of Auto-Tune and talk box has been declining in the landscape of the Top-40 charts since the end of the 2000s. A noticeable trend that began late in the 2000s and is continuing into this decade is the prevalence of dance and pop music,[264][265][266] with EDM achieving mass commercial success as popular music moves away from the hip-hop orientated sound that dominated the previous decade.[267] In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally.[268][269][270] Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with the drum and bass scene. It mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere, while hardstyle is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and North America, with music festivals such as Defqon 1, IQON and The sound of Q-dance.[271][272][273][274]

Record of the Year Grammy Winners

Sports

Theatre

The trend of musicals being based on movies reaches a peak in 2013 when for the first time, when the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award are all based on movies.

Rights for many shows from the 2000s, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening, and Hairspray, were released for amateur production.

Locally, many theaters begin to perform smaller productions with less actor and set requirements as a way of coping with the Great Recession. This made shows like the aforementioned Spelling Bee into standards.

Video gaming

The Nintendo 3DS is the first gaming device released to feature 3D gaming without the need for stereoscopic glasses.

Entering the 2010s, video games (and their associated culture) mature into an established element of pop culture. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays games is 30.[276]

Some of the new and innovative trends in gaming culture in this decade include cloud gaming, the rise of stereoscopic 3D gaming, and the ever-increasing advancements in graphic card technologies leading to more photo-realistic graphics. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession,[277] but the industry still continued to make millions of dollars in profits from wide-releases of popular franchises. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late-2011, made over US$775 million in one-week which put that particular first-person shooter video game on par with or even surpassing records of the film industry's opening numbers that week.[278]

The first few years of the decade was dominated primarily by seventh generation consoles. This includes Microsoft's Xbox 360, the Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii.[279] The PC, however still remains the preferred medium of the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles despite the fact that they themselves are expanding to other devices.[280][281] 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U. Sony and Microsoft have initially stated that their PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles were to be on a ten-year lifespan which wouldn't place a release of one of their consoles until 2014 or 2016,[282][283][284] but the Wii U's announcement had prompted the other two industry giants to make swifter timetables of release. In late 2013, two consoles were added to the eighth generation with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4. The eighth generation consoles are expected to face stiff competition from tablet and smartphone gaming markets, as well as an increased interest in independent games promoted by popular social networking sites.[285][286]

Following in the 3D craze, Nintendo released the Nintendo 3DS in early 2011. It introduced a new interface that does not require special glasses to observe stereoscopic 3D visual during gameplay.[287] Sony also released's a handheld console, the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but does not feature 3D gaming. The OnLive console was released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device.[288] Mobility and interaction become a common trend to see in video games. The original Wii revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, and Sony and Microsoft reacted by releasing the PlayStation Move and Kinect respectively. This new and innovative direction expanded the video game market to those interested in physical therapy and to the elderly.[289][290][291][292]

See also

Timeline

The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events and predicted prominent events of the decade:

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