Doomsday Clock holds steady at 100 seconds to midnight for third year in a row

The Doomsday Clock will remain at 100 seconds to midnight for a third year running.

Keeping the same position means the clock’s keepers believe the threat of an apocalypse is as bad as it has been over the last 24 months.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists hosted a live virtual news conference today to reveal when they think the world will end.

This year, it was deemed the world is “no safer than it was at was last year” and the clock will remain at 100 seconds to midnight.

Speakers included Hank Green, Herb Lin, Professor Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Scott Sagan and Sharon Squassoni.

Two questions are considered when the scientists make their decision – is humanity safer or at greater risk compared to last year, and is humanity safer or at greater risk compared to the last 75 years?

Dr. Bronson said there were “several bright spots and many disturbing trends” taking into consideration for the 2022 clock.

“Because humans created these threats, we can reduce them,” Dr. Rachel Bronson said.

Issues like the prolonged pandemic and proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran, China and North Korea were taken into account.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist

The Doomsday Clock countdown – which acts as a metaphor for global apocalypse – takes into account the likelihood of emerging threats like war breaking out and the impact of Covid as well as advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

Trackers said they considered factors this year like the prolonged pandemic, proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran, China and North Korea, state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, and disruptive technologies.

Speculation mounted in 2021 about where the next world war may break out as relationships between Western allies such as the US and UK and their Eastern rivals Russia, Iran, China and North Korea became more fraught than ever.

There are also flashpoints of escalating conflict between North Korea and the US seen during the 1990s and when the rhetoric between Kim-Jong Un and Donald Trump escalated.

It comes as intelligence chiefs have warned Russia could invade Ukraine by the end of January with a massive assault involving 100,000 troops and thousands of tanks across ten fronts.

Also to consider is the conflict in Iraq between Iranian and American forces “intensified” after Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in 2018.

The countdown was established in 1947 by experts at the bulletin who were working on the Manhattan Project to design and build the first atomic bomb.

It started at seven minutes to midnight but the outlook has got worse in recent years.

The closer the time to midnight, the closer the world is considered to be to catastrophe.

In 2020, the clock lost 20 seconds, pushing it the closest to midnight – and global catastrophe – it has ever been.

Last year, remained at 100 seconds, staying the closest to midnight it has ever been for the second year running amid the devastating effects of the global Covid pandemic.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists spent the last six months debating the decision with the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel Laureates.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.

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