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Doomsday Clock announcement reveals how close we are to end of the world

Rhiannon Ingle

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Doomsday Clock announcement reveals how close we are to end of the world

Featured Image Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

There's been a whole lot of buzz surrounding the eagerly-anticipated Doomsday Clock announcement which will reveal just how close we are to end of the world.

Well, it appears the long wait is finally over as The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - the group who set up the clock - has just shared a massive update on it today (23 January).

For those not in the know of the phenomenon, the Doomsday Clock is designed to show just how close humanity is to global catastrophe caused by man-made technologies.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has shared an announcement on the Doomsday Clock countdown. Credit: Anna Moneymaker / Staff / Getty Images
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has shared an announcement on the Doomsday Clock countdown. Credit: Anna Moneymaker / Staff / Getty Images
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Its use is basically intended to serve as a call to action for world governments and last year, the clock was the closest it's ever been to midnight - AKA Doomsday - at a mere 90 seconds away from disaster.

Before that, it sat at the previous record of 100 seconds to midnight for two years.

So, in order to work out the update, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ask whether humanity is safer or at greater risk this year compared to last year, and whether humanity is at a greater risk than in the past 75 years.

If they believe the answer is yes then the clock has to move.

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Following the announcement, the Doomsday Clock was reset at 90 seconds to midnight, still the closest the clock has ever been to midnight, reflecting the continued state of unprecedented danger the world faces.

The Doomsday Clock was reset at 90 seconds to midnight,Credit: SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images
The Doomsday Clock was reset at 90 seconds to midnight,Credit: SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images

The Doomsday Clock was previously set at 90 seconds to midnight which was 'due largely but not exclusively to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased risk of nuclear escalation'.

A statement from the Doomsday Clock reads: “Ominous trends continue to point the world toward global catastrophe. The war in Ukraine and the widespread and growing reliance on nuclear weapons increase the risk of nuclear escalation. "China, Russia, and the United States are all spending huge sums to expand or modernize their nuclear arsenals, adding to the ever-present danger of nuclear war through mistake or miscalculation.

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"In 2023, Earth experienced its hottest year on record, and massive floods, wildfires, and other climate-related disasters affected millions of people around the world.

"Meanwhile, rapid and worrisome developments in the life sciences and other disruptive technologies accelerated, while governments made only feeble efforts to control them […] But the world can be made safer. The Clock can move away from midnight.”

If it does ever strike midnight on the Doomsday Clock, this means mass extinction for humans. Credit: FPG / Getty Images
If it does ever strike midnight on the Doomsday Clock, this means mass extinction for humans. Credit: FPG / Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown, executive chair of the Bulletin said: “As though on the Titanic, leaders are steering the world toward catastrophe - more nuclear bombs, vast carbon emissions, dangerous pathogens, and artificial intelligence. Only the big powers like China, America, and Russia can pull us back. Despite deep antagonisms, they must cooperate - or we are doomed.”

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Bill Nye, who participated in the 2024 Doomsday Clock announcement, said: “For decades, scientists have been warning us of the dangers facing humankind. We could be facing catastrophe unless we better manage the technologies we’ve created. It’s time to act.”

Topics: News, UK News, US News, Politics, Environment, Science

Rhiannon Ingle
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