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Trump has moved the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight

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"A rise in strident nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump's comments on nuclear arms and climate issues, a darkening global security landscape that is coloured by increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing disregard for scientific expertise".

These are the reasons behind the belief from top scientists that it’s increasingly likely we’re all about to die in a giant global catastrophe. Have a good day, everyone!

The Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved its symbolic ‘Doomsday Clock’ – which signals how close they believe we are to the end of the world – closer to midnight than it’s been since 1953, as it sits on its second-closest ever reading of two and a half minutes to midnight.

Doomsday Clock

Lawrence Krauss, Thomas Pickering Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist, chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors, left, and Thomas Pickering, co-chair of the International Crisis Group, display the Doomsday Clock during a news conference the at the National Press Club in Washington

Originally a symbolic statement on the closeness of the world to nuclear war, the Doomsday Clock has now evolved to also take into account other existential threats. The group cited Donald Trump’s “disturbing comments” about using nuclear weapons, together with his views on climate change, as well as more general concerns over the rise of nationalism, cyberthreats, the danger of artificial intelligence and potential misuse of biotechnology.

The clock was initially set at seven minutes to midnight upon its launch in 1947, with the worst-case reading occurring six years later, in the wake of hydrogen bomb tests in the US and the Soviet Union. The Cuban Missiles Crisis in 1962, which took the world to the brink of nuclear war, reached a resolution before the clock had chance to change.

Since then, it has moved according to the global situation, with a high ‘safe’ point of 17 minutes to midnight, just after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Doomsday Clock

It has been maintained since 1947 by the members of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board, who are advised by the Governing Board and the Board of Sponsors, including 18 Nobel Laureates. The clock itself hangs on a wall in The Bulletin's office in the University of Chicago

The clock has been set at three minutes to midnight for the past two years, but the election of Trump has pushed us closer to doomsday.

Still, at least if we go out, let’s go out listening to Iron Maiden.

(Images: iStock/Rex)

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