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Scientists have announced that the Doomsday Clock is still 90 seconds away from striking 12 – the closest it has ever been.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced on Tuesday that the clock, a symbolic timepiece showing how close the world is to ending, remained the same as last year.

The Bulletin said that the action it urged last year has not been properly acted upon, and that the threat remains unacceptably high and continues “with unabated ferocity”. It said that in 2023 trends continued to point “ominously towards global catastrophe,” citing the October 7 attacks on Israel and war in Gaza as “providing further illustration of the horrors of modern war.” It also cited Earth experiencing its hottest year on record, as well as the recent advances in artificial intelligence, as threats to human civilisation.

Last year the scientists moved the clock forward by 10 seconds, making it just 90 seconds to midnight, citing the “unprecedented danger” posed by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The scientists said they were also concerned about China’s expansion of its nuclear capabilities, as well as North Korea stepping up its intermediate and longer-range missile testing.

The countdown was established in 1947 by experts from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists who were working on the Manhattan Project to design and build the first atomic bomb. It was created to provide a simple way of demonstrating the danger to the Earth and humanity posed by nuclear war.

The clock first started ticking at seven minutes to midnight – and has moved forwards and backwards over the years as the threats to the world changed. In 2020, it was set at 100 seconds to midnight, and remained unchanged for the next three years.

Although originally intended to warn of the threat of nuclear armageddon, the Doomsday Clock has evolved to take into account the likelihood of other emerging threats such as climate change and advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

The Bulletin is an independent non-profit organisation run by some of the world’s most eminent scientists.

Original source: https://www.upday.com

Doomsday Clock nears “midnight”

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