UPDATE: Scientists announced that the clock would be moved two minutes closer to midnight at a press conference today.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is set to make a “major announcement” about the Doomsday Clock later today, with speculation mounting that the minute hand could edge closer to midnight.
A press conference at 11am EST will feature discussions about climate change, nuclear modernization and the threat of terrorism in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Any movement of the minute hand would mark the first change in three years. The last adjustment came in 2012 on the back of concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The clock currently stands at five minutes to midnight. The closest it has ever been to ‘doomsday’ is two minutes to midnight, which occurred in 1953 following the United States and the Soviet Union testing thermonuclear devices within nine months of each other.
If the clock moves one minute closer to midnight, it will be the closest the world has been to catastrophe since 1984.
The decision will be made by the group’s Board of Sponsors, which includes numerous Nobel laureates as well as several climate change alarmists, including Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, who has advocated controversial “geoengineering” techniques to fight global warming.
Some have labeled the Doomsday Clock a “great propaganda tool,” but have questioned its accuracy, noting that the clock is less scientifically based and instead reflects “the political perception of the involved scientists,” a key factor given dispute over claims that 2014 was the “hottest year” ever recorded.
Today’s announcement will likely cite this assertion as a key reason for moving the clock one minute closer to midnight, despite the fact that more accurate satellite records of temperature differences suggest that the 18-year “pause” in global warming is continuing.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warning about the perils of nuclear weapons is also somewhat ironic given that the group was founded by Manhattan Project physicists after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.