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Current decade of the Gregorian calendar (2020–2029) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The 2020s (pronounced "twenty-twenties" shortened to "the '20s" and referred to as the twenties)[1][2] is the current decade, which began on January 1, 2020, and will end on December 31, 2029.

From top left, clockwise: Colourised transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virions with visible coronae, the virus that causes COVID-19, which in 2020 became a pandemic that has so far dominated the decade; A Russian BMP-3 near Mariupol destroyed during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, part of the greater Russo-Ukrainian War; In addition to many private and public spaceflight advancements, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched in 2021; Taliban fighters in Kabul on a captured Humvee following the 2021 fall of Kabul at the end of the War in Afghanistan.

The 2020s began with the COVID-19 pandemic — the first reports of the virus were published on December 31, 2019, though the first cases are said to have appeared nearly a month earlier[3] — which caused a global economic recession as well as continuing financial inflation concerns and a global supply chain crisis.

Several anti-government demonstrations and revolts occurred in the early 2020s and world leaders have called it an "angry decade", including a continuation of those in Hong Kong that started in the late 2010s against extradition legislation, protests against certain local, state and national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, others around the world, particularly in the United States against racism and police brutality, one in India against agriculture and farming acts, one in Israel against judicial reforms, an ongoing political crisis in Peru, Armenia and Thailand, and many in Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, China and Russia against various forms of governmental jurisdiction, corruption and authoritarianism.

Many coups have been attempted, and some have even succeeded, contributing to protests with a majority happening in African countries. Military juntas and dictatorships have been established as a result, such as in Mali in 2020 and 2021, in Sudan in September and November 2021, in Burkina Faso in January and September 2022, and one in the Central African Republic, Niger, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé, and Tunisia. While in other parts of the world, coups have been attempted in Germany, Myanmar, Peru, Armenia, Ukraine, January 6 United States Capitol attack and 2022–2023 Brazilian election protests.

Ongoing military conflicts include the Myanmar civil war, the Ethiopian civil conflict (2018–present), and the Russo-Ukrainian War. The latter included the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, making it the largest conventional military offensive in Europe since World War II, and resulting in a refugee crisis, disruptions to global trade, and an exacerbation of economic inflation. Smaller conflicts include the Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present), the Mexican drug war, and the Somali Civil War.

With many extreme weather events worsening in the early 2020s, several world leaders have called it the "decisive decade" for climate action as ecological crises continue to escalate.[4][5] In February 2023, a series of powerful earthquakes killed at least 45,000 people in Turkey and Syria; this event fell within the top ten deadliest earthquakes of the 21st century.

Technological advances and changes have been made and benefitted many, such as the use of online learning, streaming services, e-commerce and food delivery services to compensate for lockdown orders. 5G networks have launched around the globe at the start of the decade as well, and became prevalent in smartphones. Significant improvements in the complexity of artificial intelligence have occurred with artificial intelligence art and chatbots becoming more accessible and mainstream. The private space race also greatly accelerated in the 2020s, as did government-funded space projects such as the James Webb Space Telescope and Ingenuity helicopter.