(NewsNation Now) — The Doomsday Clock, an international countdown of what leading science and security experts say represents a threat to human existence, remains stuck at less than a two-minute warning.
Some scientists believe factors like climate change, nuclear risk, and now the COVID-19 pandemic influence the clock’s movement.
“The pandemic serves as a historic wake-up call, a vivid illustration that national governments and the international organizations are unprepared to manage complex and dangerous challenges,” said Dr. Rachel Bronson, president and CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
In January 2020, the Doomsday Clock moved from 2 minutes to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it’s been to midnight in its history. The symbolic Doomsday Clock represents “the gravest perils facing humankind,” according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The Doomsday Clock decision is made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board in consultation with the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel Laureates. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project.
Two years later, the organization created the Doomsday Clock using the imagery of apocalypse [midnight] and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion [countdown to zero] to convey threats to humanity and the planet.
Over time, the clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technologies in other domains.
NewsNation affiliate MysteryWire.com contributed to this report