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Closer to Doomsday: Clock, and Humanity, Now Three Minutes From the End

By    |   Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 12:10 PM

The Doomsday Clock moved two-minutes closer to midnight this week, making the metaphorical assertion that humanity now sits at 11:57 p.m – just three minutes away from our day of destruction.

CBS News reported that the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the trans-Atlantic body that came up with the clock concept in 1947, made its update at a press conference Thursday morning.

The last time the Doomsday Clock was adjusted was in 2012, when the board moved the minute hand from 11:54 p.m. to 11:55 p.m.

"Climate change and increasing concerns about nuclear weapons are the main factors influencing the decision about any additional adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock," the board said in a statement preceding the latest two-minute adjustment.

The Doomsday Clock was founded by some of the scientists that worked on the atomic bomb, and has traditionally been primarily concerned with nuclear proliferation. Over the years, however, it has also taken into account humanity's vulnerability in the face of disease epidemics, global warming, and other issues. The 2012 adjustment, for example, cited concerns about the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan and the H5N1 flu.

The furthest the minute hand of the clock has ever been from midnight was in 1991, as the Cold War ended. At the time, it was adjusted to 17 minutes from midnight, 11:43 p.m.

The closest the board has put us was during the Cold War, when in 1953 the minute hand was set at 11:58 p.m.

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The Doomsday Clock moved two-minutes closer to midnight this week, making the metaphorical assertion that humanity now sits at 11:57 p.m — just three minutes away from our day of destruction.
closer, doomsday, clock, ticks, forward
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2015-10-22
Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 12:10 PM
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