Doomsday Clock moved forward 2 minutes, sits only 3 minutes from midnight

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Doomsday Clock moved forward 2 minutes, sits only 3 minutes from midnight
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says due to the severity of threats facing humanity, the doomsday clock might move closer to midnight. Matt Sampson has the details.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Scientists from the group Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists speak during a press conference after updating the ÒDoomsday ClockÓ January 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. The group moved the clock, considered a metaphor for the dangers facing the world, from 5 minutes to midnight to three minutes to midnight due in large part to growing concern over global climate change. From left to right are Kennette Benedict, executive director of BAS; Sharon Squassoni, director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sivan Kartha , senior scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute; and Richard Somerville, research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Professor Richard Somerville of the University of California in San Diego unveils the 'Doomsday Clock' showing that the world is now three minutes away from nuclear disaster, from five minutes previously, during a press conference of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientistists in Washington,DC on January 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 14: Lawrence Krauss, co-chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists speaks at a press conference announcing the adjustment by one minute back of the 'Doomsday Clock' on January 14, 2010 in New York City. The clock measures how vulnerable the world is to disaster from nuclear weapons and threats from the climate or new technologies. (Photo by David Goldman/Getty Images)
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Humans are inching closer to a doomsday scenario, experts believe.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) moved the infamous Doomsday Clock ahead two minutes, leaving it three minutes from midnight.

Citing global warming and increasingly dangerous weapons caches around the world, BAS leaders claimed in a Thursday press conference that the "probability of global catastrophe is very high."

"In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity," the group said in a statement.

"World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth."

Earth's warmest recorded year was 2014, according to NOAA, and 14 of the 15 warmest years have occurred since 2000.

The remarkable warming led the U.S. to vote overwhelmingly across party lines this week (98-1) in agreement that climate change is real –- a marked shift from Republicans claiming the theory is a hoax.

Increasing tensions between Islamic extremists and the West, as well as chilling relations between the U.S. and Cold War enemies Russia and China were also cited.

The last time BAS moved the Doomsday Clock was in January 2012, according to the statement, when it was moved ahead one minute to five minutes to midnight.

"Since its creation in 1947, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted only 18 times, ranging from two minutes before midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991," said BAS.

The Doomsday Clock's most recent move this close to the end was three minutes to midnight in 1983, "when U.S.-Soviet relations were at their iciest," BAS explained.

More than a dozen Nobel laureates sit on the board that decides where the doomsday clock should sit.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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