The minute hand on the “Doomsday Clock” has edged closer to midnight, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced Thursday, citing concerns with President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE’s comments on nuclear arms and climate change as part of the reason for the move.
The group made the "unprecedented" move to change the minute hand from 3 minutes to midnight, where it has been since 2015, to 2.5 minutes to midnight.
"Factors influencing the 2017 deliberations regarding any adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock include: a rise in strident nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump's comments on nuclear arms and climate issues prior to his inauguration on January 20th, a darkening global security landscape that is coloured by increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing disregard for scientific expertise," the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said in a statement ahead of its live event on Thursday.
"Make no mistake, this has been a difficult year,” said the executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Rachel Bronson, according to NPR.
The Doomsday Clock was established in 1947 by physicists who were part of the Manhattan Project as a way to indicate the likelihood of a potentially world-ending nuclear conflict.
Now, it also measures the likelihood of apocalyptic climate change, cyber threats and biosecurity events.
The Doomsday Clock’s minute hand did not move in 2016. The metaphorical clock is now the closest it's been to midnight since 1953, when the U.S. and Soviet Union were in the early stages of hydrogen bomb testing.