| Last updated
The Doomsday Clock has been moved forward to 100 seconds to midnight, from 120 - the first time it's been updated in the last two years.
"Today the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the hands of the Doomsday Clock. It is 100 Seconds to Midnight," - @RachelBronson1, President & CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists#DoomsdayClock pic.twitter.com/bxlf9TvEZu
- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (@BulletinAtomic) January 23, 2020
The clock, which was founded in 1947 by an academic journal called the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is a metaphor to represent how close mankind is to global catastrophe.
It comes amid a host of global uncertainties that have emerged over recent months, with the potential pandemic of coronavirus the latest threat to international safety.
A statement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explains the reasons for the changing of the clock, which include 'limited political response to climate change' and the killing of Iraqi military leader Qasem Soleimani. It is addressed to 'leaders and citizens of the world' with the subject line: "Closer than ever."
The chilling warning reads: "Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential danger - nuclear war and climate change - that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society's ability to respond.
"The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.
"In the nuclear realm, national leaders have ended or undermined several major arms control treaties and negotiations during the last year, creating an environment conducive to a renewed nuclear arms race, to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to lowered barriers to nuclear war.
"Political conflicts regarding nuclear programmes in Iran and North Korea remain unresolved and are, if anything, worsening. US-Russia cooperation on arms control and disarmament is all but nonexistent.
"Public awareness of the climate crisis grew over the course of 2019, largely because of mass protests by young people around the world. Just the same, governmental action on climate change still falls far short of meeting the challenge at hand.
"At UN climate meetings last year, national delegates made fine speeches but put forward few concrete plans to further limit the carbon dioxide emissions that are disrupting Earth's climate.
"This limited political response came during a year when the effects of man-made climate change were manifested by one of the warmest years on record, extensive wildfires, and quicker-than-expected melting of glacial ice."
The clock was first set at seven minutes to midnight, serving as a warning to humanity about the danger posed by nuclear weapons.
Featured Image Credit: Bulletin Atomic
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read