The Doomsday Clock has been moved one step closer to midnight over fears that a nuclear war could erupt at any moment.
It is now sitting at two minutes to midnight, scientists from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist announced this afternoon.
The clock started as a way of measuring the risk posed by nuclear conflict, but it’s now been updated to include the ‘Pandora’s box of modern science’ including artificial intelligence and climate change. Its hands ticked forward due to fears of nuclear conflict between the US and North Korea, as well as the danger posed by Russia’s increased aggression and Iranian atomic ambitions.
‘To call the nuclear state dire is to underestimate the situation,’ said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the organization.
She added: ‘Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions.
‘Across the globe, nuclear weapons are poised to become more rather than less usable because of nations’ investments in their nuclear arsenals.’
Scientists slammed the ‘unpredictability’ of Donald Trump and other world leaders with their finger on the nuclear button. The Doomsday Clock measures how close we are to a man-made disaster.
It is now closer to twelve o’clock than at any point since 1953 when it was at two minutes to midnight as both Russia and the US tested mega-destructive hydrogen bombs.
Last year, scientists blamed Donald Trump for their decision to sound the alarm about an imminent apocalypse as they set the clock at two and a half minutes to midnight.
This year, they called on Trump to use less ‘provocative’ language when dealing with unpredictable leaders such as Kim Jong-un.
Nuclear tensions between the U.S. North Korea are still running high, making imminent armageddon a worryingly realistic possibility.