The Doomsday Clock, which measures the proximity of the world to total destruction caused by human actions, has moved closer to armageddon than ever before.
Created 76 years ago in 1947 to alert humanity of the dangers of nuclear war, it has now remained at 100 seconds to midnight for two years, the closest it has ever been to the end of the world.
Watch as the Doomsday Clock moves 10 seconds closer to armageddon…
The position of the clock hands towards or away from midnight is determined by the assessment of existential threats made by a group of scientists at The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
According to experts, when the clock reaches 12 (midnight), it signifies the end of the world.
The maintenance of the clock is overseen by a committee of specialists in international relations and scientists who specialize in the fields of nuclear weapons, climate change, and disease.
Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, explained why the clock has moved closer to disaster.
"In February 2022, weeks after our [last] announcement, our fears were born out," Bronson said.
"Russia's thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention, or miscalculation is a terrible risk."
"The possibilities that the conflict could spin out of anyone's control remains high."
The committee has now set the clock at 90 seconds to midnight.
Bronson stated that the reason behind the advancement of the clock by 10 seconds was mostly due to the increasing dangers posed by the conflict in Ukraine, although other factors were also considered.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022 has resulted in significant tensions between Russia and NATO.
The annual report by the Doomsday Clock cites other hazards such as climate change, biological risks, and disruptive technologies.
The report highlights that the impact of the war extends beyond just an elevation in the threat of nuclear weapons, as it also undermines global initiatives to tackle climate change.
Countries that had previously relied on Russian oil and gas are now exploring alternative sources. The report emphasizes the need for world leaders to acknowledge and manage biological risks, regardless of whether they are natural, accidental, or deliberate.
The board indicated that pandemics are no longer considered a rare event.
In 2020, the Doomsday Clock's hands were moved 100 seconds closer to midnight, and in 2021 and 2022, they remained unchanged.
The clock's hands were farthest from midnight, at 17 minutes, during the end of the Cold War. Bronson emphasized that human actions contribute significantly to global issues, but that collaboration can help reduce the associated risks.