Is humanity's time almost up?

Scientists are set to announce whether they will move the minute hand of the "Doomsday Clock."

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

On January 26, 2016, in a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC, the members of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists unveiled that the Doomsday Clock remained at three minutes to midnight.

Updated Jan 27, 2017

Is humanity's time almost up?

The US-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists will announce on Thursday if the events of the past two years have moved the hands on the "Doomsday Clock."

The clock is now at three minutes to midnight. The symbolic countdown to global catastrophe was set in motion in 1947. It has been paused at three minutes to midnight since January 2015.

Midnight represents the end of humanity.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists informs the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, emerging technologies, and diseases.  

In a statement released earlier this week, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said it was assessing recent events ahead of Thursday's announcement.

"A rise in strident nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump's comments on nuclear arms and climate issues, a darkening global security landscape that is coloured by increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing disregard for scientific expertise," were among the events, it said.

The clock was last moved two years ago – from five minutes to three minutes before midnight – the closest it has been to catastrophe since the days of hydrogen bomb testing, which prompted the atomic scientists to start the clock. 

TRTWorld and agencies