Doomsday Clock Pushed One Minute Closer to Midnight

According to scientists, we are now (figuratively) five minutes away from complete global destruction.

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SAUL LOEB / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

Robert Socolow, a professor at Princeton University, sits alongside the Doomsday Clock during an announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

The Clock is ticking. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have moved the Doomsday Clock one minute closer to midnight — from 6 minutes to midnight to 5 minutes. Midnight means catastrophic destruction for humanity. But don’t worry (well, maybe a little), this is no “Judgment Day” and there is no “Rapture” coming. The Doomsday Clock is figurative and monitors “the means humankind could use to obliterate itself.”

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have maintained the Doomsday Clock since 1945. They cite issues in nuclear disarmament and climate change as reasons we are inching closer to a global disaster.

In their announcement on Tuesday, the scientists stated, “two years ago, it appeared that world leaders might address the truly global threats that we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed.”

According to USA Today, Robert Socolow of Princeton University said during a press conference in Washington, “There are still 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world, enough to kill all of humanity many times over.”

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was founded by scientists, engineers, and other experts involved in the creation of the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. They felt a responsibility to warn the public of its danger.

The closest the clock has ever come to midnight is two minutes away. This was in 1953 after a successful American test of a hydrogen bomb.

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