The Final Countdown? Doomsday Clock Sets Alarming Record Amid Global Threats


Bulletin of Atomic Scientists President and CEO Rachel Bronson said the move reflected the opinion of the scientists that the world had entered "a two-minute warning" for its survival.

On the climate change front, Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environmental Institute and author of the Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC reports), noted that "If the Earth warms by what we tend to think of as just a few degrees... or even pushes the climate half way there, we have no reason to be confident that such a world will remain hospitable to human civilization".

The clock represents the likelihood of a manmade global catastrophe. The last move forward was 2018 when the world reached two minutes to midnight amid threats of climate change, nuclear fallout, and cyberwar. This year it is closer to midnight that it has ever been before.

Based on a cursory glance, the trending comments from Twitter users in response to the dire news shows many people reacting with comedic memes, GIFS, and jokes.

Factors which influence the clock's hands' position include climate change, nuclear threats, war and other scientific and technological developments, like A.I.

Further cases of new Chinese virus are reported
Arriving passengers will answer questions about any respiratory symptoms and will also have their temperature taken, he said . In this file photograph taken on January 12, 2020, a woman walks in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market .

The clock was established in 1947 by a group of experts who were working on the Manhattan Project to design and build the first atomic bomb. "The proposition circulated by some, that we are not committed to effective action on climate change, is false", Mr Cormann said, according to The Australian.

The farthest the clock's hands have been from midnight was 17 minutes in 1991, at the end of the Cold War. In 2007, the potential for catastrophic disruptions from the climate crisis were added into determining the time. These days, we've got a lot more than that to worry about than nuclear weapons, which is why the clock has moved so perilously close to midnight.

Members of the Science and Security Board present their rationale for the new time. Previously, the closest position was 2 minutes to midnight, which the clock was set to first in 1953 (following the US and then-Soviet Union's hydrogen bomb tests) and then again in 2018, amid world leaders' failure to appropriately address global warming and other humanity-threatening political and environmental issues.

Along with highlighting growing concerns about how "sophisticated, technology-propelled propaganda" is undermining global efforts to address the two key existential threats, this year's statement slammed world leaders for "not responding appropriately to reduce this threat level and counteract the hollowing-out of worldwide political institutions, negotiations, and agreements that aim to contain it". The statement noted that meeting the goals of that accord will require industrialized countries "to curb emissions rapidly, going beyond their initial, inadequate pledges and supporting developing countries so they can leapfrog the entrenched, fossil fuel-intensive patterns".

After summarizing the Bulletin's warnings in a statement Thursday, Brown concluded: "If there's ever a time to wake up, it's now".