Doomsday Clock Moves Closer To Midnight, We're 2 Minutes From World Annihilation

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Here's how the Doomsday Clock changed from 1947 up to last year

Rachel Bronson, president and chief executive of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said "nuclear issues took centre stage once again" during this year's deliberations. The first was in 1953, after both the USA and Soviet Union tested their first thermonuclear bombs within six months of one another. "To call the situation dire is to understate the danger". "The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse gas emissions to keep climate risks manageable, and so far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge", the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said.

The clock's brightest moment was in 1991 when, in the post-Cold War afterglow, it was set at 17 minutes to midnight.

"To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger-and its immediacy", the group added as it again advanced the clock, just as it did a year ago.

When it was created in 1947, the clock's hand stood at seven minutes to midnight. Since 2010 - years before Mr. Trump's presidency - the needle has moved ever closer to midnight: 5 minutes in 2012, 3 minutes in 2015, and two and a half minutes last year. And although US President Donald Trump opposed the Iran nuclear deal - which his predecessor and US allies had negotiated to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons - he "did not offer a single viable alternative", she said. Then, in 1991, with the Cold War finally at an end and initiatives underway in the USA and Russian Federation to reduce nuclear arsenals, the clock made its biggest jump backward yet, landing at 17 minutes to midnight.

Citing growing nuclear risks and unchecked climate dangers, the iconic Doomsday Clock has moved to 2 minutes before midnight, the closest to the symbolic point of annihilation that the Clock has been since 1953.

North Korea's continued nuclear tests also caused the group concern.

"We could see a return to a nuclear arms race", amid renewed rising tensions between Washington and Moscow, as well as North Korea's quest to be capable of launching a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile that could hit the mainland United States, warned Sharon Squassoni, a research professor at George Washington University.

The reading in more recent times has reflected the impact of climate change on the planet and the effects of new technology and science in the world. The last time the clock was updated was just under one year ago. "And as a effect, Earth has warmed by one degree", Kartha said. The closer the clock's minute hand moves towards midnight, the closer we are to the collapse of civilization.

"Humans invented both nuclear weapons and the fossil-fuel-powered machines that contribute to climate change; we know how they work, so presumably, we can find ways to reduce or eliminate the harm", Benedict said.

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