Doomsday Clock Ticks Even Closer to Midnight

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves it from 100 seconds to 90 seconds away
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 9:39 AM CST
Doomsday Clock Ticks Even Closer to Midnight
The famous Doomsday Clock.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The world is now a symbolic 90 seconds away from annihilation, the closest it has ever been. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its famous Doomsday Clock on Tuesday, moving it up from 100 seconds away, where it has been the last two years, reports USA Today. The group cited the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the primary reason, and it issued its rationale not only in English, but in Russian and Ukrainian. By contrast, the clock once stood at 17 minutes to midnight, at the end of the Cold War.

"The war in Ukraine may enter a second horrifying year, with both sides convinced they can win," says the group's statement. It warned that Russia's invasion "raised profound questions about how states interact, eroding norms of international conduct that underpin successful responses to a variety of global risks." The group also worried about Vladimir Putin's "thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons." The clock first appeared in 1947, when it stood at 7 minutes to midnight. While initially focused on the threat of nuclear weapons, it has evolved to include threats from climate change, disinformation, and bioweapons, notes Axios. (Read more Doomsday Clock stories.)

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