Doomsday Clock reset to 100 seconds to midnight for 2020

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The Doomsday Clock was reset to 100 seconds to midnight, meaning the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists does not think the world is a safer place in 2020.

This is the closest the clock has ever been to the apocalyptic midnight, "largely because of worldwide governmental dysfunction in dealing with global threats."

The 2020 clock is 20 seconds closer to midnight than it was in 2019, when its minute hand sat at two minutes to doom.

The Bulletin said it designed the metaphorical clock in 1946 to show the public how close humanity is to destroying the world. The closer the minute hand is set to midnight, the closer life on Earth is to its ultimate demise.

A board of scientists and other experts meets twice a year to discuss world events and reset the clock as necessary.

At first, the Cold War's nuclear arms race had the most influence on the clock's positioning, but now climate change has just as much (if not more) sway.