The minute hand of the "Doomsday Clock," which indicates how close the world's leading scientists think we are from destroying the planet, remains at "three minutes to midnight," scientists announced in Washington, D.C., today.
Midnight on the clock represents "doomsday." The closer the minute hand is to midnight, the higher the chance of a global cataclysm, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the group of scientists who set the "time" on the symbolic clock.
The clock's minute hand is assessed each year, and the clock's time "conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making," the Bulletin explained on its website.
Last year, scientists announced the clock moved from "five minutes to midnight" to "three minutes to midnight" due to climate change and "extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity" by the modernization of nuclear weapon arsenals.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons. The scientists created the "Doomsday Clock" two years later in 1947.
The decision to move the clock's time is made by the bulletin's science and security board, which includes physicists and environmental scientists from around the world, in consultation with the bulletin's Board of Sponsors, which includes 16 Nobel laureates, according to the Bulletin.