The Doomsday Clock Reaches 90 Seconds To Midnight

Photography Manager: Brendan Flaherty


The Bulletin of Science and Security Board’s Doomsday Clock moves even closer to midnight – and the subsequent apocalypse. 

For those concerned with the state of the world and the fate of humanity altogether, this clock will help you recognize how close we are to complete and utter destruction.

Started in 1945 by Albert Einstein and a group of other scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, this clock represents the time we as humans have left on this planet before the apocalypse hits.

For those who don’t know what the Manhattan Project is, it took place during the Second World War when American Scientists created the first nuclear weapons. They did end the war, saving American lives, but at what cost?

Two years later, those same scientists created the “Doomsday Clock” using the time of midnight as the time of the apocalypse.

Every year, the Clock is set by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board along with other scholars and sponsors, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

As of 2023, the clock has been moved forward ten seconds since last year, putting humanity 90 seconds from midnight. 

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Now, how does the clock move forward? And what exactly determines the time left on the clock?

According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, there are many reasons why the clock has moved forward. Examples of the clock’s position are the war in Ukraine, the abundance of nuclear weapons, climate change, and many more.

The Russo-Ukrainian war has been going on since Russia seized Crimea in 2014 and has now evolved into an invasion that has come with the threat of nuclear warfare from Russia. This is one of the reasons why the world might come to an end.

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The ongoing and changing climate is another critical addition to the moving forward of the clock. With no signs of a slowing in the pollution of the sky, what with the war going on and just the utter amount of Natural gas that the U.S. and Russia emit yearly.

Although efforts have been made to slow the spreading of natural gasses and other causes of climate change, the damage is already done. Only a significant change in our lifestyles can truly turn back the clock for us.

Some countries that produce carbon dioxide emissions and burn fossil fuels are the United States, China, India, and the European Union. And although some countries have tried to cut back in this area, others still need to do so.

According to a study done by ESSD, emissions from coal, oil, and gas were expected to reach new levels in 2022, higher than in the previous year. The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have also reached new levels, reaching 420 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to NASA.

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Another one of the major reasons the clock moved forward is because of the biological threat that still looms over us all.

Although COVID-19 has primarily been dealt with through vaccines and treatments, the threat of another biological attack is no longer a foreign idea.

Accidents, both human and machine-made, happen all the time. Without proper care, the creation of a second COVID-19 could be made. It might also not be by accident that a new virus is created, what with the war going on. A new virus could be a form of biowarfare and unleash devastating effects.

Countries such as Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China all harbor plans or have the capabilities to conduct biological warfare upon another country if necessary. 

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China, in particular, might be in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention, which is an effort to stop all bioweapons from being used in the future.

Only when every country can realize the devastating effects biowarfare would bring to the planet can we move the clock back, when every country can work to better their people’s health and wellness rather than trying to worsen it.

The last primary reason for the clock moving forward is the wide spreading of misinformation and disruptive technologies.

Of course, misinformation is being spread to the masses every day by any sort of misinformed individual with a voice and a platform. The misinformation they refer to is more directed at Russia and how they silence the truth and the reality of the Ukraine war to the people.

As the war between the two countries continues, more and more cyberattacks are being carried out against Ukraine, most being unsuccessful.

Along with computer-based attacks, there have been attacks using a more direct approach with drones and guided missiles, which have always been proven deadly and worrisome.

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After all is said and done, there is much that the world can work on. One significant change that would most likely put the clock back is the ending of the Russo-Ukrainian war. It is part of the many reasons that the clock moved forward.

Climate change is something we have come to realize, but it also requires much change and effort to make a difference.

The clock is an intriguing project to keep an eye on, and it constantly reminds us how close we are to being destroyed.

Hopefully, the leaders of the world’s nations can realize that a change is necessary to preserve our place on this planet.


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