The Bulletin of Atomic Sciences has moved the Doomsday Clock from 5 minutes to 3 minutes to midnight due to global warming and nuclear proliferation.
According to USA Today , “It is now three minutes to midnight,” said Kennette Benedict, the executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at a news conference in Washington, D.C.
“The probability of global catastrophe is very high.
This is about the end of civilization as we know it.”
The clock hasn’t been at 3 minutes to midnight since 1984.
The clock has only been closer to midnight once before, at two minutes to midnight in 1953 when the hydrogen bomb was first unveiled.
The furthest from midnight it has ever been was in 1991, when the superpowers signed the nuclear non-proliferation treatety, putting the clock at 11:43.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by scientists who had previously worked on the Manhattan Project.
The Doomsday Clock was invented in 1947 as a way to symbolize the probablity of the end of civilization, whereby midnight is a global catastrophe.
“In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said in a statement.
“World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.
These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.” The clock was last moved in 2012, from 6 to 5 minutes, for the same reasons: nuclear proliferation and climate change. “Human influence on the climate system is clear,” Richard Somerville of the Bulletin said at the conference Thursday.
“Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer than any preceding on record.” “Climate change and increasing concerns about nuclear weapons are the main factors influencing the decision about any additional adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock,” said the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in a statement ahead of the announcement .