The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) has moved the second hand on its Doomsday Clock forward to just 90 seconds to midnight. That makes it now the closest the clock has ever been to midnight since the BAS has been tracking in its 76-year history.
At its annual announcement Jan. 24, 2023, the group said it made its decision, not only because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine, but also because of the increased risk of nuclear escalation. The time, which the BAS says is "a time of unprecedented danger," was also influenced by the climate crisis, the breakdown of global norms and other threats such as COVID-19.
"We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality," Rachel Bronson, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said in a statement. "Ninety seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it's a decision our experts do not take lightly. The U.S. government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue; we urge leaders to explore all of them to their fullest ability to turn back the clock."