A TIME OF UNPRECEDENTED DANGER:
Doomsday Clock sits just 90 seconds before midnight due to the war in Ukraine – the closest humankind has been to annihilation in 76 years
The Doomsday Clock — used to represent how close the world is to catastrophe — now stands at just 90 seconds to ‘midnight.’
Experts who run the clock, which is symbolic and not an actual clock, said Russia’s war in Ukraine is why humankind is the ‘closest it has ever been to annihilation.
The clock had been sitting at 100 seconds from midnight since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global warming fears. But the threat of nuclear weapons being used on the battlefield has upgraded the threat level.
Rachel Bronson, CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists who developed the clock, said: ‘The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.’
Tuesday’s announcement also marks the closest the Doomsday Clock has been since its inception in 1947.
Every January since 1947, the Bulletin has determined how close humankind is to annihilation by pulling the current off 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.