Nuclear scientists are resetting them on Tuesday it moves its hands to 90 seconds to midnight – closer than ever to impending annihilation.
The doomsday clock is a symbolic timepiece that shows how close the world is to the end. Midnight marks the theoretical point of annihilation.
Apocalyptic threats could arise from political tensions, weapons, technology, or .
The hands of the clock are moved closer to midnight or farther from midnight at a specified time based on the scientists’ findings on existential threats.
How is the doomsday clock viewed?
A Chicago-based nonprofit organization called the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists updates the time annually based on information about catastrophic risks to the planet and humanity.
A panel of scientists and other experts in nuclear technology and climate science, including 13 Nobel Prize winners, discuss world events and determine where the hands of the clock will be placed each year.
The clock was developed in 1947 by a group of nuclear scientists, including Albert Einstein, who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first nuclear weapons during World War II.
2023 is the first time the Doomsday Clock has moved since it was seen at 100 seconds to midnight in 2020. Source: Getty, AFP / Eve Hambach
Why have scientists moved it closer to midnight?
With 90 seconds to midnight, the doomsday clock is now closer to midnight than ever before. It is the first time it has moved since it was seen at 100 seconds to midnight in 2020.
Its surroundings reflect a world in which has revived fears of nuclear war. The war was largely, but not exclusively, the reason for the forward movement of the hands, the scientists said.
A Ukrainian soldier in an armored vehicle during combat training in Zaporizhia region of Ukraine on Tuesday. Source: AP / Kateryna Klochko/AP
“Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons are a reminder to the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, design or miscalculation poses a terrible risk,” the CEO said at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.
Sivan Kartha, a member of the Bulletin Board and a scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute, said war-driven natural gas prices have also prompted companies to explore natural gas sources outside Russia and switch power plants to coal as an alternative energy source.
“Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, after recovering from the economic decline of COVID to an all-time high in 2021, continue to rise in 2022, hitting another record high… As emissions continue to rise, extreme weather events continue, and were even more clearly due to climate change,” said Kartha, pointing to the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2022 as an example.