The Doomsday Clock

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the minute hand on its Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight. On the 60-year-old Doomsday Clock, midnight is nuclear destruction, the end.

The closest the clock has ever been to midnight is 11:58 p.m., which was in 1953, the year both the United States and Russia tested hydrogen bombs. Hydrogen bombs are more powerful than the atomic bombs developed by the Manhattan Project physicists.

The most recent move ia due to North Korea’s recent test of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia. Experts assessing the dangers posed to civilization have added climate change to the prospect of nuclear annihilation as the greatest threats to humankind.

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