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The end is near? Atomic Scientists move Doomsday Clock closer to midnight than ever before

The end is near? Atomic Scientists move Doomsday Clock closer to midnight than ever before

The Doomsday Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.

The Doomsday Clock represents the likelihood of a global catastrophe caused by humans. The Doomsday Clock represents the likelihood of a global catastrophe caused by humans.

The Doomsday Clock represents the likelihood of a global catastrophe caused by humans. It's currently the closest it has ever been to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved it to 90 seconds from midnight. 

The reason cited for this move is the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. In a statement, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said, "This year, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, largely (though not exclusively) because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine. The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been."

The Scientist's statement also said, "Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict—by accident, intention, or miscalculation—is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high."

This also comes after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in August, the world has entered “a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.”

The Doomsday clock was created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and has been Maintained since 1947. The clock is a metaphor for threats to humanity from unchecked scientific and technological advances. A hypothetical global catastrophe is represented by midnight on the clock.

The organization's board of scientists and other experts in nuclear technology and climate science, including 13 Nobel Laureates, discuss world events and determine where to place the hands of the clock each year.

The last time this clock's hands were moved was in 2020 when it was set to 100 seconds to midnight. More than 75 years ago, it began ticking at seven minutes to midnight. At 17 minutes to midnight, the clock was furthest from "doomsday" in 1991, as the Cold War ended and the United States and Soviet Union signed a treaty that substantially reduced both countries' nuclear weapons.

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Published on: Jan 25, 2023, 1:52 PM IST
Posted by: Rachna Manojkumar Dhanrajani, Jan 25, 2023, 1:33 PM IST
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