The hands of the clock are moved closer to or further away from midnight based on the scientists’ reading of existential threats at a particular time.
How is the Doomsday Clock set?
The clock was created in 1947 by a group of atomic scientists, including Albert Einstein, who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first nuclear weapons during World War Two.
2023 marks the first time the “Doomsday Clock” has moved since it was set at 100 seconds to midnight in 2020. Source: Getty, AFP / Eva Hambach
Why have scientists moved it closer to midnight?
A Ukrainian soldier in an armored vehicle during combat training in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, on Tuesday. Source: AP / Kateryna Klochko/AP
“Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention or miscalculation is a terrible risk. The possibilities that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high,” Rachel Bronson, the bulletin’s president and CEO told a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.
“Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, after having rebounded from the COVID economic decline to an all-time-high in 2021, continue to rise in 2022 and hit another record high… With emissions still rising, weather extremes continue, and were even more clearly attributable to climate change,” Mr Kartha said, pointing to the devastating flooding in Pakistan in 2022 as an example.