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September 11th attacks Euro 2003 Invasion of Iraq War in Afghanistan Social media 2008 Beijing Olympics Financial crisis of 2007–2010 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
From left, clockwise: The World Trade Center towers, burning after the September 11th attacks; The Euro enters into European currency in 2002; A statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq; The War in Afghanistan; Social media through the Internet spread across the world; A Chinese soldier gazes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics commencing; An economic crisis, the largest since the Great Depression, hits the world in 2008; A tsunami from the Indian Ocean following an earthquake kills over 250,000 on Boxing Day, 2004.
Millennium: 3rd millennium
Centuries: 20th century21st century22nd century
Decades: 1970s 1980s 1990s2000s2010s 2020s 2030s
Years: 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Categories: BirthsDeathsArchitecture
EstablishmentsDisestablishments

The 2000s was the decade that started on January 1, 2000 and ended on December 31, 2009. It was the decade in which the 21st century and 3rd millennium began.

Globalization, which had intensified in the post-Cold War 1990s, continued to influence the world in the 2000s.[1][2][3][4][5] The institutions, linkages and technologies that emerged or were redefined earlier would subsequently in this decade benefit many countries, in particular China and India. However, in other parts of the world such progress failed to address ongoing struggles with modernity, most notably characterized by the rise of al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups.[6] The September 11 attacks in 2001 ultimately led to the United States, United Kingdom and other nations controversially[7] invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as implementing various anti-terrorist measures at home and abroad in what was known as the War on Terror. The European Union saw further integration and expansion throughout much of Europe. The economic growth of the 2000s, while responsible for lifting millions out of poverty, also had considerable environmental consequences, raised demand for diminishing energy resources, and was still shown to be vulnerable as demonstrated during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s.[8]

Contents

Names for the decade

Unlike previous decades, the 2000s have not yet attained a universally accepted name in the English-speaking world.[9][10][11]

Orthographically, the decade can be written as the "2000s" or the "'00s." Some people read "2000s" as "two-thousands," and thus simply refer to the decade as the "two-thousands." Some read it as the "00s" (pronounced "Ohs"). The single years within the decade are usually referred to as starting with an "Oh," such as "Oh-Eight." On January 1, 2000, the BBC listed "The Noughties" (derived from "nought" [12] a word used for zero in many English-speaking countries), as a potential moniker for the new decade[13]. Others advocate the term "The Aughts," which was widely used at the beginning of the previous century, sometimes even combining it with "naught" to put a linguistic twist on the time period, such as "The Naught Aughts" or even "The Naughty Aughties."[14] Slate Magazine puts another humorous twist on the "00s," using the term "Uh-Ohs"[15] in reference to society's inability to come up with a name.

The American Dialect Society holds a lighthearted annual poll for word of the year and related subcategories; for 2009, the winner of "least likely to succeed" was "Any name of the decade 2000–2009, such as: Naughties, Aughties, Oughties, etc."[16]

Politics and wars

The "War on Terrorism" and War in Afghanistan began after the September 11 attacks in 2001.[17][18] The International Criminal Court was formed a year later. A United States-led coalition invaded Iraq, and the Iraq war led to the end of Saddam Hussein's rule as Iraqi President and the Ba'ath Party regime in Iraq. Al-Qaeda and affiliated Islamist militant groups performed terrorist acts throughout the decade. These acts included the Madrid Train Bombings in 2004, 7/7 London Bombings in 2005, and the Mumbai attacks related to al-Qaeda in 2008. The EU expanded, incorporating some former Eastern block nations. North Korea and Iran were seen as strong nuclear threats, following two North Korea nuclear tests, and Iran's failure to comply with its transparency obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and UN resolutions.

The War on Terrorism generated extreme controversy around the world, with questions regarding the justification for U.S. actions leading to a loss of support for the American government, both in and outside the United States. Additional armed conflict occurred in the Middle East, including between Israel and Hezbollah, then with Israel and the Hamas. The greatest loss of life due to natural disaster came from the 2004 tsunami killing around a quarter-million people and displacing well over a million others. Cooperative international rescue missions by many countries from around the world including the United States helped in efforts by the most affected nations to rebuild and recover from the devastation. An enormous loss of life and property value came in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina flooded nearly the entire city of New Orleans. The resulting political fallout was severely damaging to the George W. Bush administration because of its perceived failure to act promptly and effectively. In 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, and became the first African-American U.S. president when he succeeded Bush in 2009.[19]

Terrorist attacks

The prominent terrorist attacks of the decade include:

Wars

The most prominent armed conflicts of the decade include:

International wars

  • Second Intifada (2000 – present) - After the signing of the Oslo Accords failed to bring about a Palestinian state, in September 2000 the Second Intifada (uprising) broke out, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which has been taking place until the present day. As a result of the significant increase of suicide bombing attacks within Israeli population centers during the first years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada[22], in June 2002 Israel began the construction of the West Bank Fence along the Green Line border arguing that the barrier is necessary to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorism. The significantly reduced number of incidents of suicide bombings from 2002 to 2005 has been partly attributed to the barrier.[23] The barrier's construction, which has been highly controversial, became a major issue of contention between the two sides. The Second Intifada has caused thousands of victims on both sides, both among combatants and among civilians - The death toll, including both military and civilian, is estimated to be 5,500 Palestinians and over 1,000 Israelis, as well as 64 foreign citizens.[24] Many Palestinians consider the Second Intifada to be a legitimate war of national liberation against foreign occupation, whereas many Israelis consider it to be a terrorist campaign.[25]
  • 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict – the frequent Hamas Qassam rocket and mortar fire launched from within civilian population centers in Gaza towards the Israeli southern civilian communities led to an Israeli military operation in Gaza which had the stated aim of reducing the Hamas rocket attacks and stopping the arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. Throughout the conflict Hamas further intensified its rocket and mortar attacks against Israel, hitting civilian targets and reaching major Israeli cities Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time. The intense urban warfare in densely populated Gaza and the intensified Hamas rocket attacks towards populated Israeli civilian targets lead to a high toll on both sides and among civilians.

Civil wars and Guerrilla wars

Irregular combatants in North Darfur. The Arabic text on the bumper says "The Sudan Liberation Army" (SLA).
Darfur refugee camp in Chad
  • Mexican Drug War (2006 – present) - an armed conflict fought between rival drug cartels and government forces in Mexico. Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for quite some time, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States.[30] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.[31][32][33] Roughly more than 16,851 people in total were killed between December 2006 until November 2009.[34]
  • The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991–2002) came to an end when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) finally laid down their arms. More than two million people were displaced from their homes because of the conflict (well over one-third of the population) many of whom became refugees in neighboring countries. Tens of thousands were killed during the conflict.[35]
  • The Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), once a major proxy conflict of the Cold War, the conflict ended after the anti-Communist organization UNITA disbanded to become a political party. By the time the 27-year conflict was formally brought to an end, an estimated 500,000 people had been killed.[39]
  • Civil war in Chad (1998–present)
  • Nepalese Civil War (1996–2006) - the conflict ended with a peace agreement was reached between the government and the Maoist party in which it was set that the Maoists would take part in the new government in return for surrendering their weapons to the UN. It is estimated that more than 12,700 people were killed during the course of the conflict.[47]
  • Ituri conflict (1999–2007) - a conflict fought between the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups in the Ituri region of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While there have been many phases to the conflict, the most recent armed clashes ran from 1999 to 2003, with a low-level conflict continuing until 2007. More than 50,000 people have been killed in the conflict and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes.[48]

Coups

  • Fatah–Hamas conflict (2006–2009) - an armed conflict fought between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas with each vying to assume political control of the Palestinian territories. In June 2007, Hamas took control of the entire Gaza Strip, and established a separate government while Fatah remained in control of the West Bank. This in practice divided the Palestinian Authority into two. Various forces affiliated with Fatah engaged in combat with Hamas, in numerous gun battles. Most Fatah leaders eventually escaped to Egypt and the West Bank, while some were captured and killed.

Nuclear threats

Anti-aircraft guns guarding Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran
  • Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the Western world due to suspicions that Iran could divert the civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence said in February 2009 that Iran would not realistically be able to a get a nuclear weapon until 2013, if it chose to develop one.[49]
  • In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq, over concerns leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological weapons. The Iraq Inquiry (still ongoing) may explain more on this situation, but in the meantime, the U.S. ended the regime of Saddam Hussein and did not find any nuclear bombs in Iraq.
  • North Korea successfully performed two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
  • Operation Orchard - during the operation Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor on September 6, 2007 which was built with the aid of North Korea.[50] The White House and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) later declared that American intelligence indicated the site was a nuclear facility with a military purpose, though Syria denies this.[51]
  • The Doomsday Clock, the symbolic representation of the threat of nuclear annihilation, moved four minutes closer to midnight: Two minutes in 2002 and two minutes in 2007 to 5 minutes to midnight.

National sovereignty

Political events

The prominent political events of the decade include:

Americas

George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States
Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, being inaugurated in 2009

Asia

Protesters in Tehran during the 2009 Iranian election protests
Israel's prime minister Ehud Barak and PLO head Yasser Arafat with the president of the United States Bill Clinton at Camp David Summit, 2000

Europe

Assassinations

The prominent assassinations of the decade include:

Disasters

Natural disasters

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The tsunami caused by the December 26, 2004 earthquake strikes Ao Nang, Thailand.
People in Mexico City wear masks on a train due to the swine flu outbreak, April 2009
NASA's space view of Hurricane Katrina as it strikes the U.S. Coast.

The 2000s have seen some of the worst and most destructive natural disasters in history.

Other disasters

The space shuttle Columbia disintegrates on reentry, February 1, 2003.

Economics

The most significant evolution of the early 2000s in the economic landscape was the long-time predicted breakthrough of economic giants China and India, that had a double-digit growth during nearly the whole decade. The rapid catching-up of emerging economies with developed countries sparked some protectionist tensions during the period and was partly responsible for an increase in energy and food prices at the end of the decade. The economic developments in the latter third of the decade were dominated by a worldwide economic downturn, which started with the crisis in housing and credit in the United States in late 2007, and led to the bankruptcy of major banks and other financial institutions[62]. The outbreak of this global financial crisis sparked a global recession, beginning in the United States and affecting most of the industrialized world.

Economic growth in the world

Shanghai becomes a symbol of the recent economic boom of China.

Between 1999 to 2008, according to the World Bank statistics for GDP [63][64],

  • The world's economy doubled in size from U.S. $30.21 to U.S. $60.59 trillion.
  • The United States (U.S. $14.2 trillion) retained its position of possessing the world's largest economy. However, the size of its contribution to the total global economy dropped from 28.8% to 23.4%.
  • Japan (U.S. $4.9 trillion) retained its position of possessing the second largest economy in the world, but its contribution to the world economy also shrank significantly from 14.5% to 8.1%.
  • China (U.S. $4.33 trillion) went from being the seventh largest to the third largest economy, and in 2008 contributed to 7.1% of the world's economy, up from 3.3% in 1999.
  • Germany (U.S. $3.65 trillion), France (U.S. $2.85 trillion), United Kingdom (U.S. $2.65 trillion) and Italy (U.S. $2.29 trillion) followed as the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th largest economies, respectively.
  • Brazil (U.S. $1.61 trillion) retained its position as the 8th largest economy, followed closely by Russia (U.S. $1.607 trillion) and Spain (U.S. $1.604 trillion). Russia had moved from the 16th to 9th position, while Spain remained at 10th.
  • Other major economies included Canada (U.S. $1.4 trillion; 11th, down from 9th), India (U.S. $1.22 trillion; remaining at 12th), Mexico (U.S. $1.09 trillion; 13th, down from 11th), Australia (U.S. $1.02 trillion; remaining at 14th) and South Korea (U.S. $929 billion; 15th, down from 13th).
  • In terms of purchasing power parity in 2009, the ten largest economies were the United States (U.S. $14.2 trillion), China (U.S. $8.76 trillion), Japan (U.S. $4.14 trillion), India (U.S. $3.54 trillion), Germany (U.S. $2.81 trillion), United Kingdom (U.S. $2.16 trillion), France (U.S. $2.11 trillion), Russia, (U.S. $2.10 trillion), Brazil (U.S. $2.04 trillion), and Italy (U.S. $ 1.75 trillion).[65]

Globalization and its discontents

The removal of trade and investment barriers, the growth of domestic markets, artificially low currencies and the proliferation of education assisted China, India and other developing countries to enjoy economic growth through the decade, as manufacturing (and increasingly, services) industries were relocated from high to low wage countries. In turn many of these countries accumulated capital, and invested abroad. Other countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Brazil and Russia, benefited from increased demand for their mineral and energy resources that global growth generated. The hollowing out of manufacturing was felt in Japan and parts of the United States and Europe which had not been able to develop successful innovative industries.

While global trade rose in the decade (partially driven by China's entry into the WTO in 2001), there was little progress in the multilateral trading system. International trade continued to expand during the decade as emerging economies and developing countries, in particular China and South-Asian countries, benefited low wages costs and most often undervalued currencies. However, global negotiations to reduce tariffs did not make any progress, as member countries of the World Trade Organization did not succeed in finding agreements to stretch the extent of free trade.[66] The Doha Round of negotiations, launched in 2001 by the WTO to promote development, failed to be completed because of growing tensions between regional areas. Nor did the Cancun Conference in 2003 find a consensus on services trade[67] and agricultural subsidies[68].

The comparative rise of China and other developing countries also contributed to their growing clout in international fora. In 2009 it was determined that the G20, originally a forum of finance ministers and central bank governors, would replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.

The age of turbulence

People queuing outside a Northern Rock bank branch in Birmingham, United Kingdom on September 15, 2007, to withdraw their savings because of the Subprime mortgage crisis.

The decade was marked by two financial and economic crises. In 2000, the Dot-com bubble burst, causing turmoil in financial markets and a decline in economic activity in the developed economies, in particular in the United States.[69] However, the impact of the crisis on the activity was limited thanks to the intervention of the central banks, notably the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Indeed, Alan Greenspan, leader of the Federal Reserve until 2006, cut the interest rates several times to avoid a severe recession,[70] allowing an economic revival in the U.S.[71]

As the Federal Reserve maintained low interest rates to favor economic growth, a housing bubble began to appear in the United States. In 2007, the rise in interest rates and the collapse of the housing market caused a wave of loan payment failures in the U.S. The subsequent mortgage crisis caused a global financial crisis, because the subprime mortgages had been securitized and sold to international banks and investment funds.[72] Despite the intervention of central banks successfully to avoid a complete collapse of the banking sector and to relieve the financial markets, the economic activity was severely affected around the world in 2008 and 2009,[73] with disastrous consequences for carmakers.[74]

Reactions of governments in all developed and developing countries against the economic slowdown were largely inspired by keynesian economics. The end of the decade was characterized by a Keynesian resurgence,[75] while the influence and media popularity of left-wing economists[76] Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize recipients in 2001 and 2008, respectively) did not stop growing during the decade.[77] Several international summits were organized to find solutions against the economic crisis and to impose greater control on the financial markets. The G-20 became in 2008 and 2009 a major organization, as leaders of the member countries held two major summits in Washington in November 2008 and in London in April 2009 to regulate the banking and financial sectors,[78] and also succeeding in coordinating their economic action and in avoiding protectionist reactions.

Energy crisis

Increase in oil prices
Gas prices in late May 2008.

From the mid-1980s to September 2003, the inflation-adjusted price of a barrel of crude oil on NYMEX was generally under $25/barrel. During 2003, the price rose above $30, reached $60 by August 11, 2005, and peaked at $147.30 in July 2008.[79] Commentators attributed these price increases to many factors, including reports from the United States Department of Energy and others showing a decline in petroleum reserves, worries over peak oil, Middle East tension, and oil price speculation.[80]

For a time, geopolitical events and natural disasters indirectly related to the global oil market had strong short-term effects on oil prices. These events and disasters included North Korean missile tests, the 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanon, worries over Iranian nuclear plants in 2006 and Hurricane Katrina. By 2008, such pressures appeared to have an insignificant impact on oil prices given the onset of the global recession. The recession caused demand for energy to shrink in late 2008 and early 2009 and the price plunged as well. However, it surged back in May 2009, bringing it back to November 2008 levels.[81]

Many fast-growing economies throughout the world, especially in Asia, also were a major factor in the rapidly increasing demand for fossil fuels, which—along with fewer new petroleum finds, greater extraction costs, and political turmoil—forced two other trends: a soar in the price of petroleum products and a push by governments and businesses to promote the development of environmentally friendly technology (known informally as "green" technology). However, a side-effect of the push by some industrial nations to "go green" and utilize biofuels was a decrease in the supply of food and a subsequent increase in the price of the same. It partially caused the 2007 food price crisis, which seriously affected the world's poorer nations with an even more severe shortage of food.[82]

The rise of the Euro

The euro became the currency of members of the Eurozone.

A common currency for most EU member states, the euro, was established electronically in 1999, officially tying all the currencies of each participating nation to each other. The new currency was put into circulation in 2002 and the old currencies were phased out. Only three countries of the then 15 member states decided not to join the euro (The United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden). In 2004 the EU undertook a major eastward enlargement, admitting 10 new member states (eight of which were former communist states). Two more, Bulgaria and Romania, joined in 2007, establishing a union of 27 nations.

The euro has since become the second largest reserve currency and the second most traded currency in the world after the U.S. dollar.[83] As of October 2009, with more than €790 billion in circulation, the euro was the currency with the highest combined value of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.S. dollar.[note 1]

Science and technology

The most prominent technological and scientific advancements and trends of the decade include:

Technology

Computing and Internet

Google becomes the Internet's most visited website.
The USB flash drive replaces the Floppy disk.
  • A huge jump in broadband internet usage globally - for example, from 6% of U.S. internet users in June, 2000[84] to what one mid-decade study predicted would be 62% by 2010[85]. By February 2007, over 80% of US Internet users were connected via broadband and broadband internet has been almost a required standard for quality internet browsing.[86]
  • Email became a standard form of interpersonal written communication, with popular addresses available to the public on Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.
  • Peer-to-peer technology gained massive popularity with file sharing systems enabling users to share any audio, video and data files or anything in digital format, as well as with applications which share real-time data, such as telephony traffic.
  • Boom in music downloading and the use of data compression to quickly transfer music over the Internet, with a corresponding rise of portable digital audio players. As a result, The entertainment industry struggled through the decade to find digital delivery systems for music, movies, and other media that reduce piracy and preserve profit.
  • The USB flash drive replaces the Floppy disk as the preferred form of low-capacity mobile data storage.
  • During the decade Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 become the ubiquitous industry standard in personal computer software.
  • Blogs, portals, and wikis become common electronic dissemination methods for professionals, amateurs, and businesses to conduct knowledge management typified by success of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia which launched in January 15, 2001, grew rapidly and became the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet [87][88] as well as the most well known wiki in the world and the largest encyclopedia in the world.
  • Open Source software such as the Linux operating system and the Mozilla Firefox web browser gain ground.
  • The long-awaited year 2000 problem (also known as the Y2K problem) did not majorly occur; small bugs and glitches occurred in software, but did not wreak much havoc.
  • Internet commerce became standard for reservations; stock trading; promotion of music, arts, literature, and film; shopping; and other activities.
  • During this decade certain websites and search engines became prominent worldwide as transmitters of goods, services and information. Some of the most popular and successful online sites or search engines of the 00s included: Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Video

  • Digital cameras become widely popular due to rapid decreases in size and cost while photo resolution steadily increases. As a result, the digital cameras largely supplanted the analog cameras and the integration into mobile phones increase greatly. Since 2007 digital cameras started being manufactured with the face recognition feature built in.
  • Graphic cards become powerful enough to render ultra-high-resolution (e.g. 2560x1600) scenes in real time with substantial detail and texture.
  • Flat panel displays started becoming widely popular in the second half of the decade displacing cathode ray tubes.[89][90]
  • Handheld projectors enter the market and are then integrated into cellphones.
  • DVR devices such as TiVo became popular, making it possible to record television broadcasts to a hard drive-based digital storage medium and allowing many additional features including the option to fast-forward through commercials or to use an automatic Commercial skipping feature. This feature created controversy, with major television networks and movie studios claiming it violates copyright and should be banned.
  • DVDs, and subsequently Blu-ray Discs, replace VCR technology as the common standard in homes and at video stores.
  • Free Internet video portals like YouTube and Internet TV software solutions like Joost became new popular alternatives to TV broadcasts.
  • TV becomes available on the networks run by some mobile phone providers.[citation needed]
  • High-definition television becomes very popular towards the last quarter of the decade with the increase of HD television channels and the conversion from analog to digital signals.[91]

Communications

The iPhone revolutionized the smartphones market combining functionalities of many gadgets which weren't available in a single device prior to its release.
  • Due to improvement in mobile phone displays and memories, most mobile phone carriers offer video viewing services, internet services, and some offer full music downloads, such as Sprint in 2005 and more common use of Bluetooth. This leads to an almost saturation of cell phone ownership among the public, increasing use of mobile phones as everyday carry items and a sharp decline in the use and locations of payphones.
  • The decade saw the rise in the popularity of smartphones, most notably the BlackBerry and the iPhone, which combined the functionalities of many gadgets such as PDAs, Mobile phones, Digital cameras and GPS systems in a single device.
  • Due to the major success of broadband Internet connections, Voice over IP begins to gain popularity as a replacement for traditional telephone lines.

Robotics

Automobiles

Other

  • GPS (Global Positioning System) becomes very popular especially in the tracking of items or people, and the use in cars (see Automotive navigation systems). Games that utilize the system, such as geocaching, emerge and become popular.

Science

Space exploration

Artist Concept of a NASA Mars Exploration Rover on Mars
These images show water in a very young lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth.

Biology

Other

Population and social issues

AIDS continued to expand during the decade. New diseases of animal origin appeared for a short time, the mad cow disease in 2003 and the bird flu in 2007, but they appeared not to be dangerous for man. On the contrary, the swine flu was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2009.

Population continued to grow in most countries, in particular in developing countries, though overall the rate slowed. According to United Nations estimates, world population reached six billion in late 1999[97], and continued to climb to 6.8 billion in late 2009.[98] In 2007 the population of the United States reached 300 millions inhabitants, and Japan's population peaked at 127 million before going into decline.[99]

Environment

Climate change

Climate change and global warming became household words in the 2000s. Predictions tools made significant progress during the decade, UN-sponsored organisations such as the IPCC gained influence, and studies such as the Stern report influenced public support for paying the political and economic costs of countering climate change.

The global temperature kept growing during the decade. On December 8, 2009, the Associated Press reported that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) had predicted that the 00s would be the warmest decade since records began in 1850,[100] with four of the five warmest years since 1850 having occurred in the 00s. Some of the data used in the prediction were released by the Met Office, the United Kingdom's national weather service, and involved temperature recordings from over 1,500 stations worldwide, which the Press Association described as "the latest efforts to debunk claims by sceptics that global warming data was manipulated by scientists".[101] The WMO's findings were later echoed by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Climatic Data Center, a unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).[102]

Scientific studies on climate helped establish a consensus.

Major natural disasters became more frequent and helped change public opinion. One of the deadliest heat waves in human history happened during the 00s, mostly in Europe, e.g. the 2003 European heat wave killing 37,451 people over the summer months.[103] In February 2009, a series of highly destructive bushfires started in Victoria, Australia, lasting into the next month. While the fires are believed to have been caused by arson, they were widely reported as having been fueled by an excessive heatwave that was due in part to climate change.

International actions

Climate change became a major issue for governments, populations and scientists. Debates on global warming and its causes made significant progress, as climate change denials were refuted by most scientific studies. Decisive reports such as the Stern Review and the 2007 IPCC Report almost established a climate change consensus. NGOs' actions and the commitment of political personalities (such as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore) also urged to international reactions against climate change. Documentary films An Inconvenient Truth and Home may have had a decisive impact.

Under the auspices of The UN Convention on Climate Change the Kyoto Protocol (aimed at combating global warming) entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of November 2009, 187 states have signed and ratified the protocol.[104] In addition The UN Convention on Climate Change helped coordinate the efforts of the international community to fight potentially disastrous effects of human activity on the planet and launched negotiations to set an ambitious program of carbon emission reduction that began in 2007 with the Bali Road Map. However, the representatives of the 192 member countries gathered in December 2009 for the Copenhagen Conference failed to reach a binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions because of divisions between regional areas.

However, as environmental technologies were to make up a potential market, some countries made large investments in renewable energies, energy conservation and sustainable transport. Many governments launched national plans to promote sustainable energy. Notably, the European Union members assembled a climate and energy package in 2007 to reduce further their carbon emission and improve their energy-efficiency, and in 2009 the United States Obama administration set up the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to create millions of jobs in sectors related to greenery.

Additional world-wide events

US Airways Flight 1549, 15 January 2009

Popular culture

Film

The highest-grossing film of the decade was "Avatar" (2009)

Music

The best-selling artist of the decade was Eminem
  • The best-selling artist of the decade was the American rapper Eminem, whose album sales totalled 32.2 million; in second place were the British rock band the Beatles, who sold 30 million albums even despite having disbanded three decades earlier. The best-selling female artist of the decade was Britney Spears.[109][110]
  • Billboard magazine named Eminem as the artist with the best performance on the Billboard charts.[111][112]
  • The best-selling album of the decade was the Beatles' compilation album, 1.[110]
Trends
  • According to some, including The Guardian, music styles during the 2000s changed very little from how they were at the end of the 1990s.[113]
  • The early 21st century has had a profound impact on the condition of music distribution. Recent advents in digital technology have fundamentally altered industry and marketing practices as well as players in unusual rapidity[114][115][116]
Death of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, an American performer and recording artist, died in June 2009, creating the largest public mourning since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.[117][118][119]

Television

American Television in the 2000s saw the increase in popularity of Reality television, with shows such as Survivor and Big Brother. The decade has since seen a steady decline in the number of sitcoms and an increase in reality shows, such as American Idol, crime and medical shows, such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Grey's Anatomy, and action/drama shows, including 24 and Lost. Adult-oriented animated programming also began a sharp upturn in popularity with shows like South Park and Family Guy along with the longtime running cartoon The Simpsons. Many successful sitcoms from the 1990s ended in the 2000s, such as Frasier, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, That '70s Show, Will & Grace, and King of the Hill. Latin-American entertainment, telenovelas (Spanish soaps) in particular, became more popular, especially novelas such as Amor Real, O Clone, Rubi, Destilando Amor, and PUra Sangre.

Video games

PlayStation 2 was released in 2000 and became the best-selling gaming console of all time
  • The world of video games reached the 7th Generation in the form of consoles like the Wii, the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.
  • The number-one-selling game console as of the decade, the PlayStation 2, was released in 2000 and remained popular up to the end of the decade, even after the PlayStation 3 was released.
  • MMORPGs, originating in the mid-to-late 1990s, become a popular PC trend and virtual online worlds become a reality as games such as Final Fantasy XI (2002), Eve Online (2003), Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (2003), World of Warcraft (2004), and Everquest II (2004), The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (2007) and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (2008) are released. These worlds come complete with their own economies and social organization as directed by the players as a whole. The persistent online worlds allow the games to remain popular for many years. World of Warcraft remains one of the most popular games in PC gaming.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series sparks a fad of Mature-rated video games based on including gang warfare, drug use, and perceived "senseless violence" into the gameplay.
  • Motion controlled video games grew in popularity, from the PlayStation 2s EyeToy to Nintendo's successful Wii console.
  • During the decade 3D video games become the staple of the video-game industry, with 2D games nearly fading from the market. Partially 3D and fully 2D games were still common in the industry early in the decade, but these have now become rare as developers look almost exclusively for fully 3D games to satisfy the increasing demand for them in the market.
  • Dance Dance Revolution is released in Japan and later the United States, where it becomes immensely popular among teenagers.
  • The most Popular video games of the decade include[citation needed]: Gran Turismo, FIFA, the Pokémon series, Madden NFL, The Sims and its sequels, the Halo series, Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Grand Theft Auto, the Call of Duty series and World of Warcraft.

Sports

The opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics, held in Beijing, China.

The Sydney Games, held in 2000, followed the hundredth anniversary of the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. The Athens Games, in 2004, were also a strong symbol, for modern Olympic Games were inspired by the competitions organized in Ancient Greece. Finally, the Beijing Games saw the emergence of China as a major sports power, with the highest number of titles for the first time. The 2002 Salt Lake City and the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games were also major events, though less popular. One of the highlights of the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing was the achievement of Michael Phelps the American swimmer, frequently cited as the greatest swimmer and one of the greatest Olympians of all time.[120][121][122] He has won 14 career Olympic gold medals, the most by any Olympian. As of August 2, 2009, Phelps has broken thirty-seven world records in swimming.

Phelps holds the record for the most gold medals won in a single Olympics, his eight at the 2008 Beijing Games surpassed American swimmer Mark Spitz's seven-gold performance at Munich in 1972.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica dominated the male sprinting events at the Beijing Olympics, in which he broke three world records, allowing him to be the first man to ever accomplish this at a single Olympic game.

He holds the world record for the 100 metres, the 200 metres and, along with his teammates, the 4x100 metres relay.

Association football (also known as soccer) gained popularity in the world, as the two World Cups organized in South Korea, Japan, and Germany were major worldwide events, while regional events Copa América and Euro Cup were also popular. Rugby increased in size and audience, as the Rugby World Cup became the third most watched sporting event in the world with the 2007 Rugby World Cup organized in France.

Michael Schumacher, the most titled F1 driver, won five F1 World Championships during the decade and finally retired in 2006, yet eventually confirming his come-back to F1 for 2010. Lance Armstrong won all the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005, also an all-time record. Swiss tennis player Roger Federer won 15 Grand Slam titles to become the most titled player. Tiger Woods made significant achievements in golf tournaments.

Architecture

Print media

  • The decade saw the steady decline of books, magazines and newspapers as the main conveyors of information and advertisements.[123][124][125]
  • News blogs grew in readership and popularity; cable news and other online media outlets became competitive in attracting advertising revenues and capable journalists and writers are joining online organizations. Books became available online, and electronic devices such as Amazon Kindle threatened the popularity of printed books.[126][127]
  • According to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the decade showed a continuous increase in reading, although circulation of newspapers has declined in conjunction with the Economic Recession.[128]

Fashion

Some fashion trends of the 2000s include Crocs and Ugg boots for feet. Hairs styles included The Wings haircut and the fauxhawk for boys and semi-long and straight hair for girls.

Timeline

The following is a brief timeline which lists the most prominent events of the decade:

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

  • April 24, 2007 - Gliese 581 c the first extrasolar planet with Earth-like conditions is discovered in the constellation Libra.
  • December 27, 2007 - Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, approximately 2 weeks before a national election in which she was favored to be elected president of Pakistan.
  • October 2007 - The Airbus A380 makes its first commercial flight.

2008

2009

See also

References

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    Total EUR currency (coins and banknotes) in circulation 771.5 (banknotes) + 21.032 (coins) =792.53 billion EUR * 1.48 (exchange rate) = 1,080 billion USD
    Total USD currency (coins and banknotes) in circulation 859 billion USD
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