Doomsday Clock Speeds Up and the World Gets More of the Apocalypse, Scientists Say

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The leading group of nuclear scientists Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced this Tuesday (24) that the world is closer than ever to the end. The group created a mechanism to alert the planet about the risks of a potential apocalypse: the “doomsday clock”, or the doomsday clock – in a free translation.

The logic is simple. The closer the clock’s hands are to midnight, the closer the world will also be to its end. This year, the group of distinguished scientists announced that we are 90 seconds away from the end of the world, the closest the doomsday clock has come to midnight since its inception in 1947.

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A key factor in this was Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

How the doomsday clock works

The clock is a good marketing idea to spark discussion, but it’s not an accurate measure of how much time is left on the planet. Despite the simple explanation, the position of the clock hands is determined by a series of complex mathematical calculations that measure the real probability of catastrophic events happening.

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Among them are nuclear wars, epidemic diseases and climate change. The clock was created shortly after World War II, when scientists, including physicist Albert Einstein, began to worry about the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

When the count began, the clock was seven minutes from midnight. In the midst of nuclear tensions, the clock reached two minutes for the end of the world, in 1953. With the end of the cold war, it went back to 17 minutes.

But the refreshment was short-lived and went back to two minutes earlier this century with advancing climate change and nuclear threats from North Korea. In 2021 and 2022, the clock reached 100 seconds to midnight, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the risks of a new arms race.

Source: CNN Brasil

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