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Doomsday Clock Holds at 90 Seconds to Midnight Amid AI and Climate Crisis Risks



As AI and climate Crisis Exacerbate Posing Serious Risks to Humankind, the Doomsday Clock Remains 90 Seconds To Midnight

On January 24, the Doomsday Clock was updated to 90 seconds to midnight, reflecting a ‘continuing and unprecedented level of risk,’ similar to the previous year. According to experts, this occurrence has been witnessed at a time when all of humankind is subjected to threats. If people and governments take urgently required actions, the scientists have agreed to turn back the clock, as their announcement says.

The Doomsday Clock was created by a group of atomic scientists in 1947, including Albert Einstein. The clock coming closer to midnight signifies that the entire world is slowly proceeding toward its end due to man-made disasters.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, manually updates the time of the Doomsday clock. The timing is set based on data and information received regarding disastrous risks to humankind and the planet. In the current scenario, artificial intelligence, ongoing wars, and climate change can pose added risks to the prevailing humankind.


Expert’s Advice on Doomsday Clock

The group of experts emphasized, ‘A variety of global threats cast menacing shadows over the 2024 Clock deliberations, including the Russia-Ukraine war and deterioration of nuclear arms reduction agreements; the Climate Crisis and 2023’s official designation as the hottest year on record; the increased sophistication of genetic engineering technologies; and the dramatic advance of generative AI, which could magnify disinformation and corrupt the global information environment, making it harder to solve the larger existential challenges.’

The CEO, Ph.D., and President of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Rachel Bronson said, ‘Make no mistake: resetting the Clock at 90 seconds to midnight is not an indication that the world is stable. Quite the opposite. Governments and communities around the world must act. And the Bulletin remains hopeful and inspired seeing the younger generations leading the charge.’

Humanity Closest to Self-Annihilation Since 1991

The organization, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, focuses on the annual resetting as a ‘call-to-action to reverse the hands.’ Moreover, it also signifies the doomsday clock as ‘a metaphor for how close humanity is to self-annihilation.’ Once every year, a bunch of professionals and scientists, which comprises thirteen Nobel Laureates as well, decide the clock’s hands position annually.


In 2023 as well, the hands of the Doomsday Clock were kept at ’90 seconds to midnight.’ It was the closest ever to be kept near to midnight. Various issues that were taken into account while deciding the clock’s hand position include disruptive technologies, disinformation campaigns sponsored by the states, exacerbating climate crisis, nuclear weapons proliferation, bio-threats, and the Russia-Ukraine war. The clock’s hand was set farthest from midnight in 1991, i.e., 17 minutes to midnight.”

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Subhashree Panda: A proficient content writer, editor, and researcher. With 4 years of experience and an MBA in finance, she crafts compelling narratives on global events. Her passion for diverse journalism genres resonates widely, fostering broad audience connections.