The Doomsdays clock is ticking away and telling us that our world is in danger.
For 2016, the Doomsday Clock – which is decided by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – has remained at three minutes to midnight, the same as last year.
The board, which is made-up of 16 Nobel Laureates, cited tension between the US and Russia along with conflicts in several other countries in 2015 as the reason why the clock has stayed so close to midnight.
A statement from the read: “Even as the Iran agreement was hammered out, tensions between the United States and Russia rose to levels reminiscent of the worst periods of the Cold War.
“Conflict in Ukraine and Syria continued, accompanied by dangerous bluster and brinkmanship, with Turkey, a NATO member, shooting down a Russian warplane involved in Syria, the director of a state-run Russian news agency making statements about turning the United States to radioactive ash, and NATO and Russia repositioning military assets and conducting significant exercises with them.
While some may believe that the clock remaining unchanged could be a positive, the Bulletin warned: “Three minutes (to midnight) is too close. Far too close.
Lawrence Krauss, chair, continued: “The clock reflects our estimate that the world is as close to the brink as it was in 1983 when US-Russian tensions were at their iciest in decades.”
Sharon Squassoni, a senior member and fellow, highlighted the threat that North Korea and Iran poses: “North Korea’s recent nuclear test illustrates the very real danger of life in a proliferated world.
“Nuclear proliferation isn’t a potential threat — we still have few controls over the kinds of capabilities that Iran succeeded in acquiring.”
The team stresses that to reduce the threat of a global catastrophe, world leaders need to reduce spending on nuclear weapons modernisation programs, control the commercial nuclear waste problem, and to “engage North Korea to reduce nuclear risks”.