Iron Maiden called it. It really IS two minutes to midnight

Nichole VegaJan 26, 2018

The clock dates back to 1947, and has been set every year by the nonprofit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, to reflect the security of the planet based on nuclear threats, climate change and other global factors.

The last time the clock was set at 11:58 p.m. was in 1953, after the United States and USSR successfully tested their first hydrogen bombs.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists unveiled the Doomsday Clock's latest time on Thursday: 2 minutes to midnight, ticking closer to world destruction by 30 seconds.

Now the academic journal has announced a new time for the clock today, warning us just how much closer we've moved to being totally screwed.

The minute hand on the Doomsday Clock is a metaphor for how vulnerable to catastrophe the world is deemed to be.

But despite the U.S. government's withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the Bulletin's board was pleased to see other countries reaffirm their commitment to addressing climate change.

The world could end in any number of ways - perhaps a meteor, a pandemic, a super volcano - but the Doomsday Clock only moves on human action. Since 2007, climate change has also been used as one of the factors that can influence the clock.

The group also weighed other nuclear threats, including the US-Russian entanglements, rising tensions in the South China Sea between China and Japan, and political strain between Pakistan and India.

A board of scientists and nuclear experts, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, meets regularly to determine what time it is on the Doomsday Clock.

'To call the nuclear situation dire is to underestimate the risk, ' the Bulletin said.

The clock is set by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a non-profit group that measures how the a year ago has affected humanity.

The clock's advancement follows North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test, and a slew of threats made by both Donald Trump and Kim-Jong Un, with the President most notably firing off about his nuclear buttonbeing bigger than the North Korean President's.

"In 2017, the United States backed away from its longs-standing leadership role in the world, reducing its commitment to seek common ground and undermining the overall effort toward solving pressing global governance challenges", the BAS' statement reads.

"Divorcing public policy from empirical reality endangers us all", theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss said at a news conference in Washington DC.

According to the Bulletin, the closest mankind has been to peace since the clock's inception was 17 minutes to midnight in 1991, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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