Nuclear threats and climate change pose strong threats to the planet and a symbolic doomsday clock will stay at three minutes to midnight, Atomic Scientists of Washington, US, said.
The clock serves as a metaphor for how close humanity is to destroy the planet, and was most recently moved closer to midnight, last year.
“It remains the closest it has been over the past 20 years,” said Rachel Bronson, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, during a press conference in the US capital.
Speaking about the issue, Lawrence Krauss, a cosmologist and professor at Arizona State University, said that, global warming, terrorism, nuclear tensions between the US and Russia, concerns over North Korean weapons, tensions between India and Pakistan and cyber threats remain destabilizing influences.
He opined that, the decision not to change the clock since 2015 is ‘not good news.’ “Unless we change the way we think, humanity remains in serious danger,” Lawrence Krauss chair of the bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, said.
Last year, though there were few positive news like the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate talks, experts expressed concern that global nuclear arsenals are growing and anti-pollution pledges lack teeth.
“The fight against climate change has barely begun, and it is unclear if the nations of the world are ready to make the many hard choices that will be necessary to stabilize the climate and avert possible environmental disasters,” Krauss said.
The decision to move the clock or not is led by a group of scientists and intellectuals, including 16 Nobel Laureates.
Doomsday Clock has changed 18 times, since its formation in 1947, ranging from two minutes to midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991.
The last time it was three minutes to midnight was in 1983, when the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was at its peak.
By Phani Ch