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The Doomsday Clock moves 10 seconds closer to midnight as the war in Ukraine continues | World News

The Doomsday Clock was set at 90 seconds to midnight – representing a time of “unprecedented danger” – mainly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It puts it 10 seconds closer to midnight, the closest it has ever been to a global catastrophe – it was in 100 seconds to midnight from 2020.

The countdown is a metaphor for global collapse, agreed world-renowned experts in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

They said that Russia’s “thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of conflict – whether by accident, deliberate or misjudgment – is a terrible risk.”

“The possibility that the conflict could spiral out of control remains high.”

They also noted that the last remaining nuclear weapons agreement between Russia and the United States was “at risk.”

They said: “Unless the two sides continue negotiations and find a basis for further cuts, the contract will expire in February 2026.”

“This would eliminate mutual inspections, deepen mistrust, encourage a nuclear arms race and increase the possibility of nuclear exchanges.”

They also pointed to China’s significant expansion of its nuclear capabilities as “particularly worrying”, North Korea’s improvement in medium- and longer-range missile testing, Iran’s growing capacity to enrich uranium and India’s development of its arsenal.

Other influences on the decision to move the clock forward include the climate crisis and carbon dioxide emissions, the increasing number of biological threats such as COVID-19, and misinformation and disruptive technology.

‘Alarm for all mankind’

Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female president and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “The doomsday clock is sounding the alarm for all of humanity.

“We are on the verge of collapse.” But our leaders are not acting with sufficient speed or scale to ensure a peaceful and habitable planet.

“From reducing carbon emissions to strengthening arms control agreements and investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done.”

“The science is clear, but the political will is lacking.” That must change in 2023 if disaster is to be averted.

“We are facing multiple, existential crises. Leaders need a crisis mindset.”

The closest the clock ever was to midnight

Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said, “We live in a time of unprecedented danger, and the timing of Doomsday reflects that reality.

“90 seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts don’t take lightly.”

“The US government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have multiple channels for dialogue; we urge leaders to explore them all to the extent of their ability to turn back the clock.

History of the watch

The Doomsday Clock was created 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.

They set the clock to show in a simple way the danger to Earth and humanity posed by nuclear Armageddon.

It is an independent non-profit organization led by some of the world’s foremost scientists.

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