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Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Ticks Closer to Midnight

Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Ticks Closer to Midnight

Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Ticks Closer to Midnight

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will host a live global news conference to announce whether the minute hand of the iconic "Doomsday Clock" will be adjusted.

Last year, after the United States tested its first thermonuclear device, the clock inched closer to "midnight" as scientists advanced it 30 seconds and put it at two and a half minutes to "doomsday".

Scientists and experts moved the minute hand on the "Doomsday Clock" closer to midnight Thursday, warning that the world appears to be closer to a doomsday scenario than it has at any point since the 1950s.

The "Doomsday Clock", a hypothetical timepiece that measures humanity's proximity to destruction by our own actions, hovers perilously close to midnight, the time that denotes global Armageddon.

The clock, established at the start of the Cold War in 1945, has become a universally recognized metaphor, indicating the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and new technologies.

The clock was conceptualized by nuclear physicists in the aftermath of the Manhattan Project in 1947.

Bulletin scientists said in their announcement that Trump's administration is "unable to develop, coordinate and clearly communicate a coherent foreign, much less nuclear, policy". Since then, terrorism and climate change have also been incorporated into the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' decision how best to advance the Clock.

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"To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger-and its immediacy", the group added as it again advanced the clock, just as it did previous year.

"To call the world's nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy", she added. "The failure to secure a temporary freeze in 2017 was unsurprising to observers of the downward spiral of nuclear rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un".

"Leaders react when citizens insist they do so, and citizens around the world can use the power of the internet to improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren". Twenty years ago, it was nine minutes to midnight; at the end of the Cold War in 1991, it was 17 minutes.

Robert Rosner, professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Chicago, singled out the Trump administration for its "inconsistency", which he said worsens nuclear risks and "constitutes a major challenge for deterrence... and global stability". "It is time to rewind the Doomsday Clock".

That year President Harry Truman reported the US had built up a nuclear bomb.

While there has been some easing of tensions between North and South Korea after they agreed to participate in the Winter Olympics as one team, there are concerns about North Korea's nuclear missiles.

Confronting these dangers will require the relentless work of many years - more time than we likely have if nothing changes soon. Even during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963, the nuclear standoff that nearly resulted in global war, the Clock was seven minutes away from doom.

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