WASHINGTON (PIX11) — The Doomsday Clock, which scientists use to quantify the likelihood of a man-made catastrophe destroying humanity, was moved up on Tuesday to 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it’s been to the fateful hour since its creation.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which created the clock in 1947 and has controlled it since, moved the time up by 10 seconds, marking its first shift since 2020.
“We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality,” said Dr. Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the group, in a statement. “Ninety seconds to midnight is the closest the Clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts do not take lightly.”
The largest factor cited by the organization in the shift was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its “thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons.” The group also pointed to the growth of nuclear capabilities in countries around the globe.
In addition to nuclear weapons, the group also cited the growing effects of climate change, infectious disease outbreaks, and the proliferation of disinformation and potentially harmful technologies.
In her statement, Bronson urged world leaders to take what steps they can before it’s too late.
“The U.S. government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue,” Bronson said. “We urge leaders to explore all of them to their fullest ability to turn back the Clock.”