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Doomsday Clock update incoming as we’re closer to midnight than ever before

Doomsday Clock update incoming as we’re closer to midnight than ever before

The clock is set to be updated in a few hours

The Doomsday Clock is about to be set for 2024, while it currently stands at the closest to midnight it's ever been.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Doomsday Clock is designed to show just how close humanity is to global catastrophe caused by man-made technologies and this year it's set to be updated on 23 January.

The clock is intended to serve as a call to action for world governments and at the moment, the clock is currently the closest it's ever been to midnight - AKA Doomsday - at just 90 seconds away from disaster.

Prior to January 2023, it sat at the previous record of 100 seconds to midnight for two years.

In order to work out the update, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - who set up the clock - ask is humanity safer or at greater risk this year compared to last year, and is humanity at a greater risk than in the past 75 years? If so, the clock has to move.

Speaking last January, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists President Rachel Bronson said: "The time on the Doomsday Clock represents the judgement of leading science and security experts about the threat to human existence, with a focus on man-made threats."

The Doomsday Clock has never been closer to midnight.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

In a press release, she added: “We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality.

"90 seconds to midnight is the closest the Clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts do not take lightly. The US government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue; we urge leaders to explore all of them to their fullest ability to turn back the Clock.”

Ideally, humanity will avoid reaching midnight, because if it does… well, it’s bad news all ‘round.

The Doomsday Clock is designed to show just how close humanity is to global catastrophe.
Getty Stock Image

“When the clock is at midnight, that means there's been some sort of nuclear exchange or catastrophic climate change that's wiped out humanity. We never really want to get there and we won't know it when we do," said Bronson.

The Doomsday Clock is updated every year, usually in January and this year is no exception with an announcement set to be made on 23 January.

Scientist Bill Nye is set to join the team from the Doomsday Clock for the announcement this year.

Of course, the clock can, and has, gone backwards but with conflict ongoing in Ukraine as well as the Israel-Gaza war and let's not forget about the threats brought about by climate change - it seems unlikely to be the case.

Featured Image Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/Getty Stock Image

Topics: World News, Science, Global Warming