The Doomsday clock is the closest it has been to global catastrophe – humankind is just 90 seconds away from annihilation.
The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the clock to 90 seconds from midnight, 10 seconds closer than 2022, marking the closest it has ever been since its inception in 1947.
The change is largely due to the war in Ukraine, which scientists fear will carry on for its second year, and Russia’s looming threat to use nuclear weapons.
The clock serves as a metaphor to remind humankind of issues, such as climate change, Covid-19 and nuclear warfare, that must be addressed.
Tuesday marks the closest it has been to midnight since nuclear bombs were released at the close of World War II, the scientists woefully announced.
The Doomsday clock is the closest it has been to global catastrophe after this annual update on Tuesday that brought the hypothetical timekeepers 90 seconds to midnight
Every January since 1947, the Bulletin has determined how close humankind is to annihilation by revealing the clock.
The Doomsday clock was founded by US scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, which led to the first nuclear weapons during World War II, and is a symbolic countdown to represent how close humanity is to complete global catastrophe.
Artist Martyl Langsdorf was commissioned to make the clock and told to create an image that would ‘frighten men into rationality,’ according to Eugene Rabinowitch, the first editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
The time is determined by the group of scientists who look at events throughout the year.
This is the closest the Doomsday clock has been moved to midnight in 76 years
The clock was founded by US scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, which led to the first nuclear weapons during World War II and is a symbolic countdown representing how close humanity is to complete global catastrophe. Pictured is the unveiling in 1947
This can include politics, energy, weapons, diplomacy and climate science, along with potential sources of threat like nuclear threats, climate change, bioterrorism and artificial intelligence.
And It has been set backward and forward 24 times since 1947.
However, Tuesday marks the closest the clock has come to midnight.
The change is largely due to the war in Ukraine, which the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists fear will carry on for its second year
The announcement also notes that Russia’s continued threat to use nuclear weapons was also part of the decision to move the doomsday clock
The Bullient’s announcement woefully points to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, which has killed more than 33,000 people.
‘Worst of all, 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,’ the announcement reads.
‘Russia’s recent actions contravene decades of commitments by Moscow. In 1994, Russia joined the United States and United Kingdom in Budapest, Hungary, to solemnly declare that it would ‘respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine’ and ‘refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine…”
The scientists also highlight that Russia brought the war to Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor sites in August 20202, violating international protocols and risking widespread release of radioactive materials.
This move has also sparked fear of another nuclear disaster.
Vladimir Putin vowed in December that any country that dared attack Russia with nuclear weapons would be wiped from the face of the Earth.
The Russian president said his country had no mandate to launch a preventative first nuclear strike, unlike the United States, but that advanced hypersonic weapons would ensure it could respond forcefully if it came under attack.