Doomsday Clock moves closest to midnight in its 73-year history


The closest the Doomsday Clock has ever been to midnight is in 2020, when its hands were moved to 100 seconds to midnight.

'It is 100 seconds to midnight.

The group set the clock - which symbolically reflects how close the world is to "midnight", or its destruction - ahead by 20 seconds during the event Thursday, to 11:58 p.m., and 20 seconds.

"We have seen influential leaders denigrate and discard the most effective methods for addressing complex threats - global agreements with strong verification regimes - in favor of their own narrow interests and domestic political gain", Bronson said. "Past experience has taught us that even in the most dismal periods of the Cold War, we can come together".

The closer we are to "midnight" on the clock, the worse off we are.

"Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers - nuclear war and climate change - that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society's ability to respond", the organization stated.

The Clock, which warns of impending disasters and takes into account nuclear weapons, rising geopolitical tensions, as well as changes to the environment, was created in 1947 at the beginning of the arms race between the US and the then-Soviet Union. He added that governments across the globe have normalized a risky world in terms of the risks of nuclear warfare and climate change. "We now face a true emergency - an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay", Atomic Scientists president and CEO Rachel Bronson said in a statement. Unfortunately, that's not the reality we're living in today.

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On climate change, 2019 was the second-hottest year on record, capping off a decade that was warmest in recorded history, according to NASA & NOAA.

Experts say climate change has worsened the scope and impact of natural disasters like fires and floods. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Australia has seen that impact firsthand, with wildfires ravaging the country for months.

Two years ago, the Bulletin moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight-closer than it had been since 1953, when the United States and the Soviet Union successfully tested hydrogen bombs.

The clock has been reset dozens of times since its debut in 1947.

Members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists were joined by representatives of The Elders, an organisation of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.

'In democracies, we try to encourage people to talk to their political representatives that these huge investments that are going into nuclear arsenals might be directed elsewhere. Previously, the closest position was 2 minutes to midnight, which the clock was set to first in 1953 (following the US and then-Soviet Union's hydrogen bomb tests) and then again in 2018, amid world leaders' failure to appropriately address global warming and other humanity-threatening political and environmental issues.