What Is Doomsday Clock?
Atomic scientists reset the “Doomsday Clock” recently, moving its hands to 90 seconds to midnight – closer than ever before to the threat of annihilation.
- Doomsday clock is a symbolic timepiece showing how close the world is to ending.
- The hands of the clock are moved closer to or further away from midnight based on the scientists’ reading of existential threats at a particular time.
- It warns how many metaphorical “minutes to midnight” humanity has left.
- It is intended to warn the public and inspire action.
- A Chicago-based non-profit organization called the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists updates the time annually based on information regarding catastrophic risks to the planet and humanity
- The clock was created in 1947 by a group of atomic scientists, including Albert Einstein, who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first nuclear weapons during World War Two.
- When it was created in 1947, the placement of the Doomsday Clock was based on the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
- In 2007, the Bulletin began including catastrophic disruptions from climate change in its hand-setting deliberations.
- The furthest the clock has been set was 17 minutes to midnight, in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.