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The doomsday clock hasn’t been this close to midnight since the first H-bomb test

Published Jan 25th, 2018 10:02PM EST

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You might not agree with them, but doomsday experts say we’re the closest to a disaster since 1953. That’s when the first hydrogen bomb was tested, prompting the Doomsday Clock scientists to change the time of the symbolic clock to two minutes to midnight.

The clock moved one minute closer to midnight compared to last year because humanity has done little to improve. Worries over nuclear weapons and climate change have prompted the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to move the time to two minutes to midnight.

The announcement came on Thursday, in Washington D.C., at the National Press Club, per USA Today.

“We’ve made the clear statement that we feel the world is getting more dangerous,” chair of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors Lawrence Krauss said, adding that “the danger of nuclear conflagration is not the only reason the clock has been moved forward.”

Dangerous political rhetoric is also one reason we’re getting closer to midnight.

“In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago — and as dangerous as it has been since World War II,” scientists say.

The clock was farthest to midnight in 1991 when the Cold War ended, and the clock was dialed back to 17 minutes to midnight. The project has been maintained since 1947, with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists having been founded two years before that by University of Chicago scientists who had worked on the first nuclear weapons.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.