Scientists warn: Humanity faces the brink of self-destruction in 2024

What is the Doomsday Clock?

Stars Insider

11/06/24 | StarsInsider


The Doomsday Clock continues to inch closer to the apocalypse over climate change and fears of nuclear war. The year 2024 has brought yet another dire warning issued by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. But what is the Doomsday Clock, and how is it read?

To summarize, the clock was developed by scientists in 1947 to track the likelihood of mankind doing something that brings about the end of the world. The development of nuclear weapons and the rapid progression of climate change are two things that have moved the clock's hand closer to midnight, which in this case, marks Armageddon. After the end of the Cold War, the clock was 17 minutes away from midnight, but in recent years, we've gone from counting down the minutes to counting down the seconds. In 2024, the Bulletin left the clock at the same position as last year—90 seconds to midnight.

"Conflict hot spots around the world carry the threat of nuclear escalation, climate change is already causing death and destruction, and disruptive technologies like AI and biological research advance faster than their safeguards," Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin's president and CEO, told Reuters. She clarified that leaving the clock unchanged is "not an indication that the world is stable," considering how disastrously close we already are to midnight. 

Click through the gallery to learn more about the Doomsday Clock and how we've come so close to the end of the world. 

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