CHICAGO (NBC News/WCMH) — Earth is 30 seconds closer to global annihilation, according to a group of scientists.
A scientific journal, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, maintains the Doomsday Clock, a metaphorical measurement of how close the planet is to a catastrophic nuclear event. After remaining at three minutes until midnight for two years in a row, the hand has advanced to two minutes and 30 seconds until midnight.
According to NBC News, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says recent events including a rise in nationalism, cyber threats and an “active and blatant disregarding” for factual science and President Donald J. Trump’s comments on nuclear arms and climate change are the driving factors behind the change.
At a news conference, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss said that the move is historic.
“The clock has not been closer to midnight in 64 years,” Krauss said. “We felt things are inching in a more dangerous path, but we try not to act on the moment.”
The closest the Doomsday Clock has come to midnight was in 1953. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set it at two minutes until midnight after the U.S. developed the hydrogen bomb during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The furthest from midnight the clock has been was 17 minutes, which was set in 1991 after the Cold War ended.