The Doomsday Clock is set by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Council on Science and Security with the support of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 10 Nobel Laureates.
The new clock is the closest to midnight since its inception in 1947. Previously, the Doomsday Clock has been set to 100 seconds to midnight since 2020.
It has also been affected by the continuing threats posed by the climate crisis and the breakdown of global norms and institutions needed to mitigate risks associated with advanced technologies and biological threats such as Covid-19.
We live in a time of unprecedented danger, said Rachel Bronson, Ph. D., president and CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the Doomsday Clock reflects that reality. 90 seconds to midnight is the nearest clock ever set. To midnight, which is A decision that our experts do not take lightly. The US government and its allies in NATO and Ukraine have many channels for dialogue; and we urge leaders to explore them all to their full potential in order to turn back the clock.”
Russia’s war on Ukraine has raised profound questions about how states interact, eroding the norms of international behavior that underpin successful responses to a variety of global risks. Worst of all, Russia’s veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalating conflict – by Coincidence, intent or miscalculation – is a terrible risk,” the statement accompanying the commission’s decision noted.
It added, “… Russia has taken its war to the Chernobyl and Zaporizhia nuclear reactor sites, violating international protocols and risking large-scale releases of radioactive material. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to secure these plants have so far been rebuffed.” .
“The doomsday clock is sounding a wake-up call for all of humanity,” said Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “We are on the brink. But our leaders are not acting fast enough or expanding enough to secure a peaceful and livable planet. Strengthening arms control treaties and investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done… We are facing multiple existential crises. Leaders need a crisis mindset.”
Ban Ki-moon, Vice President of The Elders and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, said, “Three years ago, I helped unveil the Doomsday Clock when its hands were last moved. Today they are closer to midnight, showing how our world has become far more dangerous in The aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, extreme weather phenomena, and Russia’s outrageous war on Ukraine…”
Kept since 1947, the watch is a metaphor for the threats to humanity from unchecked scientific and technological developments. A hypothetical global catastrophe is represented by midnight on the clock, with the Bulletin’s opinion of how close the world is to one represented by a certain number of minutes or seconds to midnight, evaluated in January each year.
The main factors affecting the clock are nuclear hazards and climate change.
The original clock setting in 1947 was seven minutes to midnight. It has since been set backwards eight times and forwards 16 times for a total of 24 times. The farthest from midnight was 17 minutes in 1991, and the nearest 90 seconds in 2023.
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