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Doomsday Clock gives dark warning for 2024 as it's now the closest it's ever been to midnight

Niamh Shackleton

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Doomsday Clock gives dark warning for 2024 as it's now the closest it's ever been to midnight

Featured Image Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images / Sondeep Shankar/Getty Images

2024 isn't even here yet, and it's already looking quite bleak.

We're now just weeks away from the New Year and, in light of the global hardships people have faced this year, many are already fearing the worst for 2024.

From the ongoing of Russia's invasion of the Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict, to the global economic crisis - 2023 has definitely had its issues.

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To represent the issues that the world is facing, a group of scientists created the Doomsday Clock.

Upon its creation by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1947, it was set at seven minutes to midnight; midnight being 'doomsday' itself.

It has since been set backward eight times and forward 17 times, and it now stands at the closest its ever been.

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Each January the clock is adjusted and at the beginning of 2023 it was set at just 90 seconds to midnight.

This came after it was moved to 100 seconds in midnight in 2020.

The Doomsday Clock currently sits at 90 seconds to midnight. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
The Doomsday Clock currently sits at 90 seconds to midnight. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Now, in the wake of the world having faced an even more conflict-ridden year, people are fearing that the clock may finally hit midnight in the New Year.

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"When the clock is at midnight, that means there's been some sort of nuclear exchange or catastrophic climate change that's wiped out humanity. We never really want to get there and we won't know it when we do," said CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Rachel Bronson.

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One of the main reasons the hand is so close to midnight is down to growing concerns about nuclear escalation by the Russians in Ukraine.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has a played a part in the clock moving forward. Credit: YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has a played a part in the clock moving forward. Credit: YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images

When the hand was moved in January, Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders, an NGO, and former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: "The Doomsday Clock is sounding an alarm for the whole of humanity. We are on the brink of a precipice. But our leaders are not acting at sufficient speed or scale to secure a peaceful and liveable plane."

She added: "The science is clear, but the political will is lacking. This must change in 2023 if we are to avert catastrophe. We are facing multiple, existential crises. Leaders need a crisis mindset."

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In previous years, the Doomsday Clock announcements have been revealed in late January, so it's likely the 2024 decision will be released at a similar time.

Topics: News, Science, World News

Niamh Shackleton
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