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Science & Technology

Doomsday Clock holds at 5 'til midnight

By T.K. Randall
January 16, 2013 · Comment icon 24 comments

Image Credit: military
There will be no change to the hands of the infamous 'Doomsday Clock' this year, say scientists.
The clock represents humanity's proximity to destruction based on a number of political and environmental factors including the state of nuclear arsenals around the world, the recovery from the Fukushima disaster and the prevalence of extreme weather events. The clock was first implemented in 1947 in the wake of the first atomic weapons at which point it was set to seven minutes to midnight. In 1953 it was set to just two minutes to midnight following the first hydrogen bomb test, but recovered significantly at seventeen minutes to midnight at the end of the Cold War.

"We have as much hope for Obama's second term in office as we did in 2010, when we moved back the hand of the Clock after his first year in office," the science team wrote in an open letter to President Obama. "This is the year for U.S. leadership in slowing climate change and setting a path toward a world without nuclear weapons."[!gad]The clock represents humanity's proximity to destruction based on a number of political and environmental factors including the state of nuclear arsenals around the world, the recovery from the Fukushima disaster and the prevalence of extreme weather events. The clock was first implemented in 1947 in the wake of the first atomic weapons at which point it was set to seven minutes to midnight. In 1953 it was set to just two minutes to midnight following the first hydrogen bomb test, but recovered significantly at seventeen minutes to midnight at the end of the Cold War.

"We have as much hope for Obama's second term in office as we did in 2010, when we moved back the hand of the Clock after his first year in office," the science team wrote in an open letter to President Obama. "This is the year for U.S. leadership in slowing climate change and setting a path toward a world without nuclear weapons."
The hands of the infamous "Doomsday Clock" will remain firmly in their place at five minutes to midnight — symbolizing humans' destruction - for the year 2013, scientists announced Jan. 14.


Source: Live Science | Comments (24)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by calaf 11 years ago
Let me guess; it's an atomic clock.
Comment icon #16 Posted by DieChecker 11 years ago
Comment icon #17 Posted by socrates.junior 11 years ago
P-A-R-A-N-O-I-A.
Comment icon #18 Posted by daavin 11 years ago
I guess the purpose of this is to remind the world we have very little time to rid the world of nuclear weapons, meet the challenges of global warming, etc. Ronald Ragan could have done that when he was President but didn't. Soon there will be nuclear bombs in every country. I wonder if we have past the point of no return. I like to be optimistic and say no but I'm not so sure. IMHO we passed the point of no return regarding nuclear weapons the moment they were invented, every weapon ever made eventually was available around the globe, either from trading for goods or helping an ally. The glob... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by RadicalX 11 years ago
ALways SCARES me up...been following this clock over the last 5 years....tick tock tick tock
Comment icon #20 Posted by TheSearcher 11 years ago
But, then that asks the question, will climate change... even the melting of both polar ice caps, really Wipe Out the human race? Isn't that the purpose of the Doomsday Clock? Measuring the time left till the Extinction of the human race. If it is only a measure till a "Disaster" then wasn't Climate Change going to happen anyway in 10,000 or 50,000 years? What qualifies as a Doomsday Clock "Disaster"? It was a lot simpler/cleaner when it was only a measure of the nuclear war possibility. Makes you go hummmmmm...... The entire concept of doomsday clock makes me go Eerrmmmmmm anyways
Comment icon #21 Posted by King Cobra 1408 11 years ago
another scheme to scare people and make money of the not so smart and the easily deceived people again!i can't blame them there the smart ones and the not so smart ones are the ones that buy into the the whole doomsday scheme
Comment icon #22 Posted by Wolfman1993 11 years ago
again with this?
Comment icon #23 Posted by and then 11 years ago
IMHO we passed the point of no return regarding nuclear weapons the moment they were invented, every weapon ever made eventually was available around the globe, either from trading for goods or helping an ally. The global distribution of nukes is inevitable, and I fear so is someone eventually using one again. Scary what wonders through my mind sometimes. I read a book in my teens called AIRWAR by Edward Jablonski - a very good history of airpower in WWII. Referring to a flyover by all the allied aircraft involved in the war on the day of the signing in Tokyo Bay It ended with this Statement -... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by ad hoc 11 years ago
I can't tell if the scientists involved are being incredibly patronizingly melodramatic, or incredibly arrogant about what they know about the world. 'the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists considered the current state of nuclear arsenals around the globe, the slow and costly recovery from events like Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and extreme weather events that fit in with a pattern of global warming.' So the 'bulletin of atomic scientists' is basically just clutching at any highly debated issue-of-the-month to reinforce keeping their 'clock' at about the same dramatic position it's been at for ... [More]


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