The Doomsday Clock moved 20 seconds closer to midnight on Thursday, signaling a shift closer to humanity's annihilation. According to NPR, the science and security board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that the clock, meant to represent existential threat levels, was 100 seconds to midnight in a press conference. This is the closest the clock hand has been to midnight since it debuted in 1947. The board consists of 13 Nobel laureates and was founded by the same scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project in World War II, the team behind the atomic bomb. “The Doomsday Clock is a globally recognized indicator of the vulnerability of our existence,” former Irish president Mary Robinson said on Thursday. “It's a striking metaphor for the precarious state of the world, but most frighteningly, it's a metaphor backed by rigorous scientific scrutiny.”
Some world events that have contributed to the clock's forward move include the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Russia in Aug. 2019, Iran's low-enriched uranium stockpile increase and new centrifuges in the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran deal, and an increasing number of climate-linked disasters.