Science

Doomsday Clock Moves 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight

By Duna Bil , Jan 27, 2017 04:28 AM EST
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The symbolic clock of apocalypse, Doomsday Clock, ticks from three minutes to two-and-a-half minutes, 30 minutes closer to midnight. The decision was made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BPA) for the first time in 70 years, making it the second closest it has been.The Board has decided to act, in part, based on the actions and words of US President Donald Trump.

President Trump's belief on climate change, expansion of the US nuclear arsenal, and the gag orders on agencies had contributed to the heightened global risk. It is the closest the clock has approached midnight since 1953, when it was moved to two minutes away after hydrogen bomb tests by the US and Russia. The minute hand on the Doomsday Clock is a metaphor for the imminence of a global catastrophe, the BBC  reports.

Rachel Bronson, BPA chief, have urged world leaders to "calm rather than stoke tensions that could lead to war". The BPA stated that Trump's disturbing comments about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as his expressed disbelief in the on climate change, as well as the strident political situations world wide, have affected the Board's decision. They also include doubts over the future of the Iran nuclear deal, cyber security threats, and the popularity of fake news as contributors of the impending apocalypse.

The minute hand has stayed three minutes before the hour for the last two years. But the danger of global disaster is even greater in 2017, and so the organization has moved the hand forward 30 seconds. Founded in 1945 by scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the BPA created the Doomsday Clock two years later, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists  reports.

The clock uses the imagery of midnight to refer to apocalypse. The countdown to zero refers to nuclear explosions and other threats to humanity and the planet.The decision to move, or keep, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made annually by the BPA which includes 15 Nobel laureates.

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