The world just got closer to a nuclear doomsday, atomic scientists say

Doomsday Clock.
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Doomsday Clock ticked 30 seconds closer to the nuclear apocalypse on Thursday, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is once again blaming President Trump, the Chicago Tribune reports. The metaphorical clock has been used to gauge the threat of humanity's annihilation since 1947, with midnight representing the end of the world. The apocalypse is now just two minutes from midnight, reported the scientists, who consult with a board that includes 15 Nobel Laureates.

In a statement that won't help anyone sleep better at night, the Bulletin said that "the world is not only more dangerous now than it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War II." The scientists squarely blamed Trump as well as mounting tensions with North Korea, citing "the failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change."

The clock has been as far away from midnight as 17 minutes, although last year it advanced to as close to doomsday as it's been since the United States tested its first thermonuclear device and the Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb in 1953. "We have members of Congress, White House advisers, and even the president implying that they think war with a nuclear state is not only likely, but potentially desirable," said nuclear weapons expert Alex Wellerstein. "That's unusual and disturbing. The question I have is: How much forward can they go?"

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