The Doomsday clock was first established in 1947 to gauge the threat of nuclear war. Atomic Scientist of University of Chicago put the time seven minutes to twelve, and nearly 70 years since then the clock has been adjusted twenty times.
In 1953, in response to the successful testing of hugely powerful hydrogen bombs by the US and the Soviet Union, the clock hand was moved to just two minutes to twelve, the closest it has ever stood to midnight. Following a ban on atmospheric nuclear test in 1963 the threat eased, and clock hand retreated to twelve minutes to midnight.
In 1980’s, Russian threat level again rises as the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and cold war tensions reached new heights. In 1984, the doomsday clock set to three minutes to midnight that assume to change for the fall of the Berlin wall in 1988 followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union.
In 1991, the doomsday clock hand was moved back to seventeen minutes to midnight reflecting unprecedented peace and co-operation between the superpowers.
Since 1990’s the clock’s hand have moved mainly in one direction, towards midnight, arriving last year at 11:57, three minutes to the top of the hour. The reasons are continuing nuclear proliferation, the climate change and potentially harmful new technologies such as genetic modification and synthetic biology.
Last year North Korea resumes nuclear bomb test and confirmation that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record; both those factors have potential to move the clock’s hand once again closer to midnight.
Doomsday Clock indicating alarming situation and Leaders are busy in upgrading arsenals: Sharon Squassoni
During the announcement, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Executive Director, Rachel Bronson Said “The clock is a metaphor for how close we are from destroying the planet. It is summary of view of leading experts deeply engaged in the existential challenges of our time.”
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Chair, Lawrence Krauss Said that “A year ago the clock was moved forward to three minutes to midnight at that time the both unstated. The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty, i.e., ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.
The decision not to move hands of Doomsday Clock in 2016 is not good news but an expression of grave concern that the situation remains largely same.
During the announcement, Sharon Squassoni (Center for Strategic and International Studies) said “Nuclear modernization program continues, countries like China, India, Pakistan and North Korea are increasing their nuclear arsenals, and US and Russia are modernizing their arsenal’s. It is very hard to reduce your reliance on nuclear when you expect to spend more than $350 billion”.