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Top Five Geographic News Events of 2010

The Five Most Important Geographic Events of 2010


While 2010 did not see the creation of any new countries nor did any earth-shattering changes happen to the world map, 2010 was not a silent year in the world of geography. What follows is a listing of the top five geographic news events for 2010, along with a few honorable mentions of events that are likely to continue into 2011.

1) Census 2010

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Despite the protests of anti-government fanatics, Census 2010 took place and was the largest count of the United States population. After determining that there were 308,745,538 people living in the United States on April 1, 2010, the decennial count is going to continue providing a plethora of data about the U.S. population.

This year also saw the first complete release of American Community Survey data, which replaced the long census form. Not to be outdone, the world's two largest countries also counter their populations in 2010.


2) Global Disasters

Oil Spill Workers
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Last January, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake that led to an outbreak of cholera in the fall.

April's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became the world's largest. Another April disaster was the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which impacted air transportation throughout Europe.

August's flood in Pakistan was one of the world's worst.

3) The Netherlands Antilles Disappears

Netherlands Antilles Flag
Source: CIA World Factbook, 2007
In October, the five Caribbean islands that comprised the Netherlands Antilles have had a change in status, thus resulting in a dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. The islands of Curacao and St Maarten have become autonomous "countries" within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

4) The World's Tallest Building Opens

World's Tallest Building
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
The world's newest tallest building in the world opened in January in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 2,716 feet (828 meters) tall Burj Khalifa building is a mix of commercial, residential, and hotel. The title of world's tallest building from 2004 to 2010 was held by Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan.

5) Latest Daylight Saving Time Causes Confusion

Daylight Saving Time
Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images
The United States experienced its latest possible end to Daylight Saving Time on November 7, causing excessive confusion and frustration with the twice annual change to clocks. Around the world there have been calls to end Daylight Saving Time such as in the United Kingdom.

Other Top Stories

Korean Peninsula
Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

Three other news stories are going to continue making geographic news into 2011.

South Sudan: Barring any complications, a referendum on the independence for South Sudan is scheduled to be held on January 9, 2011. If voters pass the referendum then the non-Muslim South Sudan will become the world's newest country.

Kosovo: In July, the International Court of Justice ruled Kosovo's declaration independence on February 17, 2008 was legal. Kosovo's status with regards to Serbia and Russia has yet to be fully decided.

Koreas: Tensions are running high between South Korea and North Korea. The future of the Korean Peninsula remains to be seen. Here's an overview of the history of the Korean conflict.

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