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'Doomsday Clock' remains at 100 seconds to midnight, group says

Doomsday clock
Posted at 8:06 AM, Jan 20, 2022

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Thursday said that the proverbial "Doomsday Clock" remained at 100 seconds to midnight — or, as the group put it, "at doom's doorstep."

The "Doomsday Clock" was founded in 1947 by Albert Einstein and researchers at the University of Chicago to track how close humanity is to destroying itself through the use of atomic weapons. The closer to midnight the clock is set, the closer humanity is to "doomsday."

According to CNN, the clock has been at 100 seconds to midnight since 2020.

In its press release, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists noted that 2021 initially carried the hope that the clock could be moved back due to a change in U.S. leadership.

"A more moderate and predictable approach to leadership and the control of one of the two largest nuclear arsenals of the world marked a welcome change from the previous four years," the group said.

However, the group says that rising tensions with Russia amid a potential invasion of Ukraine and China's efforts to increase its nuclear supply have left Earth close to a potential doomsday scenario.

The Bulletin also factored in the effects of climate change into its analysis.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is made of nuclear and climate scientists as well as political analysts and other experts, meets twice a year to discuss world events and reset the clock.

The farthest from midnight the clock's hands have ever been was 17 minutes to midnight, back in 1991. But since 2018, the clock has been at least at 2 minutes to midnight, which previously had not happened since 1959.