General, Research, Technology

100 seconds to the end of the world: scientists translated the hands of the Doomsday Clock

In 1947, the creators of the first atomic bombfounded the journal of the University of Chicago, Bulletin of the Scientists of Atomic Energy. From time to time, the Doomsday Clock metaphorical appears on the cover of the magazine, on which midnight marks the onset of a nuclear disaster. The decision to change the clock is made by the board of directors of the magazine, including 18 Nobel laureates. For 73 years, scientists translated the clock hands 24 times, including the initial installation for seven minutes, thereby warning mankind about a possible disaster. On January 23, 2020, the Doomsday Clock stopped at 23:58:20. So close to midnight the arrow never came close.

This is the cover of the latest issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Why do scientists think the world is on the verge of disaster?

Doomsday Clock hand switch for 20 secondscloser to midnight, that is, to the end of civilization, is designed to attract the attention of the public and world leaders. Recall that for two years the clock did not move from 23:58 amid such threats as climate change, nuclear war and cyber warfare. This time around, the situation has become even more urgent, as world leaders do not take the necessary measures in relation to the climate crisis, despite public protests. Moreover, the aggravation of the conflict in the Middle East at the very beginning of the year may lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as treaties and agreements to prevent their development are collapsing.

Back in 1947, participants in the Manhattan project- The code name for the US nuclear weapons development program - decided that Doomsday Clock is an effective way to convey to the public the threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. Since the onset of the Cold War, the hands of the clock continue to approach midnight. However, today we need to worry not only about the dangers of using nuclear weapons, but primarily about climate change. The fact is that we just survived the warmest decade in the history of mankind. 2019 broke many temperature records, and the number of natural disasters and fires increased significantly.

Climate change, if world leaders continue to be inactive, could ruin our civilization, scientists say

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At the same time, scientists warnedlouder and sharper. Just last month, the United Nations published a report stating that carbon emissions should be reduced by almost 80% this decade to prevent the worst effects of climate change, but atmospheric levels set a new record in 2020. Recent climate negotiations have not led to serious action. And this despite the statement about the climate emergency 11 thousand scientists from around the world.

Stockholm Senior ResearcherInstitute of the Environment, as well as a member of the “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists” Sivan Kart during a press conference on January 23 said that despite warnings from researchers, the actions of politicians are not commensurate with the current emergency. If world leaders were serious about resolving the climate crisis, they would begin to develop policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage others to do the same.

The planet should wake up, because before midnight 100 seconds, and world leaders have shown their inability to cope with the threat of global catastrophe risk - this is the main message of scientists.

With the text of the official statement, you canCheck out the Bulletin of the atomics website. What do you think about this? Let's discuss the likelihood of Doomsday in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat.