Doomsday Clock moves 10 seconds closer to midnight as Ukraine war rages | World News

The doomsday clock has been set 90 seconds to midnight – representing a time of “unprecedented danger” – largely due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That puts it at 10 seconds to midnight, the closest it’s ever been to a global catastrophe – it was at 100 seconds to midnight since 2020.

The countdown is a metaphor for global catastrophe as agreed upon by world-renowned experts in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

He said that Russia’s “thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of conflict – accidental, intentional or miscalculated – is a terrifying risk.”

“It’s more likely that the conflict could spiral out of someone’s control.”

He also pointed out that the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between Russia and the US is “in jeopardy”.

He said: “Unless both sides resume negotiations and find a basis for further reductions, the deal will expire in February 2026.

“It would eliminate mutual inspections, deepen mistrust, promote a nuclear arms race, and increase the likelihood of nuclear exchanges.”

He also cited as “particularly troubling” China’s substantial expansion of its nuclear capabilities, North Korea’s increased medium- and long-range missile tests, uranium enrichment Iran’s growing capability for and India’s own weapons development.

Other influences on the decision to advance the clock include the climate crisis and carbon dioxide emissions, the increasing number of biological threats such as COVID-19, and misinformation and disruptive technology.

Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first female president and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “The doomsday is ringing for all of humanity.

“We are on the brink of disaster. But our leaders are not acting at sufficient speed or scale to secure a peaceful and livable planet.

“From reducing carbon emissions to strengthening arms control agreements and investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done.

“The science is clear, but the political will is lacking. This must change in 2023 if we are to avoid catastrophe.

“We face multiple, existential crises. Leaders need a crisis mindset.”

Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: “We are living in an age of unprecedented danger, and the timing of the doomsday clock reflects that reality.

“90 seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts don’t take lightly.

“The U.S. government, its NATO allies, and Ukraine have many avenues for dialogue; we urge leaders to explore all of them to the best of their ability to turn back the clock.”

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