Doomsday clock: climate and nuclear arsenals push disaster closer

Scientists say combination of rising emissions and expanding nuclear capabilities are making Earth more dangerous

The Doomsday clock’s hand moved two minutes closer to midnight on Thursday, with scientists warning catastrophe linked to climate change and the impact of nuclear weapons was drawing closer.

The symbolic clock, launched by Manhattan Project scientists in 1947, is designed to represent how close experts believe the planet is to disaster.

At three minutes to midnight it’s the closest Earth has been to catastrophe since 1984, when US-Soviet relations hit a nadir.

In 1953 the clock hit two minutes after the US government decided to test the hydrogen bomb.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 clock, Kennette Benedict, Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which produces the clock, said science was clear that climate change and the impact of nuclear weapons posed a direct threat to the world’s future.

“World leaders have failed to act to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of leadership endanger every person on earth,” she said.

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