In January 2017, the Doomsday Clock's minute hand crept forward by 30 seconds, to two and half minutes before midnight, the closest it has been to midnight since the 1950s.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists will make an announcement at 10 a.m. ET about the Doomsday Clock. The last time the minute hand of the Clock swung so close to the end of the pendulum had been when the United States tested its first thermonuclear device. Krauss and Rosner singled out the progress of North Korea's nuclear weapons program as a key reason for the rising threat of world annihilation.
This year, nuclear threats from North Korea, technology-based attacks on free elections, climate change and President Donald Trump all played a role in the clock moving closer to global catastrophe.
"We are seeing that all the major weapons states are investing in nuclear arsenals", and these arsenals are "being updated and imbued with enhanced capabilities, said Rosner".
The U.S. and Russian Federation are discussing expanding their nuclear arsenal.
The closest the Clock has ever come to midnight was in 1953, just after the first H-bombs were tested by both the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The clock has been maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947. Doomsday occurs at midnight, so the closer to midnight the clock is set, the more peril they believe the world is in.
But the scientists said there was the possibility of reversing the trend of increasing danger. Nuclear arms-racing India and Pakistan are once again clashing in Kashmir, with casualties mounting on both sides. The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse gas emissions to keep climate risks manageable, and so far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge. A strike against the continental United States would offer perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes' advance notice-just enough time, planners say, for people to get inside their homes or to run down the street to a sturdier building.
Also, the choice to move the time on the clock forward came in the wake of counseling the release's Board of Sponsors, which incorporates 16 Nobel Prize champs.
"This danger looms at a time when there's been a loss of trust in political institutions, in the media, in science and in facts themselves - all of which exacerbate the difficulty of dealing with the real problems the world faces".
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