Atomic scientists on Tuesday put the “Doomsday Clock” closer than ever to midnight, stating that the threats of nuclear war, disease and climate volatility they have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, putting humanity at greater risk of annihilation.
The “Doomsday Clock”, created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to illustrate how close humanity is to the end of the world, moved its “hour” in 2023 to 90 seconds to midnight10 seconds closer than it was in the last three years.
Midnight on this clock strikes the theoretical point of annihilation.
The hands move closer to or further from midnight based on scientists’ reading of existential threats at any given time.
The new hour reflects a world in which the Russian invasion of Ukraine has revived fears of nuclear war.
“The thinly veiled threats of Russia to use nuclear weapons they remind the world that the escalation of conflict by accident, intent or miscalculation is a terrible risk. The chances of the conflict escaping anyone’s control remain high,” Rachel Bronson, the newsletter’s president, told a news conference in Washington.
The ad will be translated from English into Ukrainian and Russian for the first time to capture relevant attention, Bronson said.
The bulletin, a Chicago-based non-profit organization, updates the clock time annually based on information about catastrophic risks to the planet and humanity.
The organization’s council, made up of scientists and other experts in nuclear technology and climatology, including 13 Nobel laureatesdiscusses world events and determines where to place the hands of the clock each year.