The Doomsday Clock Is Reset: Closest To Midnight Since The 1950s

The minute hand on the Doomsday Clock ticked closer to midnight Thursday, as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said it’s seeing an increase in dangers to humanity, from climate change to nuclear warfare. The group took the “unprecedented” step of moving the clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, to leave it at 2 1/2 minutes away.

The setting is the closest the symbolic clock has come to midnight since 1953, when scientists moved it to two minutes from midnight after seeing both the U.S. and the Soviet Union test hydrogen bombs. It remained at that mark until 1960.

“Make no mistake, this has been a difficult year,” Rachel Bronson, executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said as the new setting was announced Thursday. Created in 1947, the Doomsday Clock was conceived by scientists who had participated in the Manhattan Project. Initially seen as an indicator of the likelihood of disastrous nuclear conflict, it now also includes other threats, such as climate change, biological weapons and cyberthreats. read more