Way back in 1947, members of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (including 18 Nobel Laureates) worked together to create a symbolic clock representing the countdown to the apocalypse.
Originally the clock was focused on the threat of an impending nuclear war (read: the US and Russia ruining it for everyone with their Cold War antics), although in later years it’s been updated to take into account climate change and other variables that could royally ruin humanity.
The closer the clock is set to midnight, the closer we are to global disaster. In January 2015 the clock was set at three minutes to midnight - the closest we’ve been to the end since the original tests of the hydrogen bomb.
This year the clock is due to be updated and according to scientific soothsayers, it doesn’t look good.
The scientists behind the clock recently said:
"Tensions between the United States and Russia that remain at levels reminiscent of the Cold War, the danger posed by climate change, and nuclear proliferation concerns, including the recent North Korean nuclear test, are the main factors influencing the decision about any adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock.
"In January 2015, the Doomsday Clock’s minute hand advanced two minutes, moving from five to three minutes before midnight, the closest it has been to catastrophe since the early days of above ground hydrogen testing."
Which is all very bleak. Hold onto your hats, we’re probably going to be in for quite a ride.