Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows the "Good Defeats Evil" sculpture at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
"We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds -- not hours, or even minutes," said Rachel Bronson, president of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. nonprofit organization moved its Doomsday Clock, designed to give the world an easy way to gauge the likelihood of manmade global catastrophe, the closest ever to midnight.
On Thursday, the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which maintained Doomsday Clock since 1947, announced that it moved the Doomsday Clock from two minutes to midnight to 100 seconds to midnight.
The decision to move the clock's time is made by the bulletin's science and security board in consultation with its board of sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel laureates.
The clock was adjusted in 2017 to two and a half minutes to midnight and set forward to two minutes to midnight in 2018. It did not move in 2019.
"We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds -- not hours, or even minutes. It is the closest to doomsday we have ever been in the history of the Doomsday Clock," said Rachel Bronson, president of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The scientists cited the nuclear weapon, climate change and cyber-based disinformation as worsening factors for the emergency.
"From the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the Iran Nuclear deal, to deadlock at nuclear disarmament talks and division at the UN Security Council -- our mechanisms for collaboration are being undermined when we need them most," said former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The scientists called on U.S. and Russian leaders to return to the negotiating table to reinstate talks over missile and nuclear arsenals. Also, they urged the world's countries to rededicate themselves to the temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement.
In 1953, following American and Soviet tests of the hydrogen bomb, the clock reached 11:58. At the end of the Cold War, in 1991, it was turned back to 11:43, its furthest from doomsday.
"We now face a true emergency -- an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay," said Bronson. ■