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 ÃDoomsday ClockÃ 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)
Stephen Schwartz, publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, holds the famous Doomsday Clock, which symbolizes the threat of world nuclear holocaust, Friday, Nov. 2, 2001, at the University of Chicago. After three years of immobility, the board of the Bulletin will deliberate later this month on recent world events and maybe decide to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)
Leonard Rieser answers questions after changing the time on the Doomsday Clock 3 minutes ahead to 14 minutes before the hour of midnight on Friday, Dec. 8, 1995, at the Universtiy of Chicago. On the eve of the clock's 50th anniversary, members of the Bulletin's board of directors decided the threat of nuclear apocalypse had not disappeared with the end of the Cold War. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
In this photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, a plume of smoke billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. The New Hampshire House Science, Technology and Energy Committee took testimony Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, on a bill to remove the state from the multi-state carbon cap-and-trade program. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
FILE - This Jan. 23, 2013, file photo, shows a poor air quality sign is posted over a highway, in Salt Lake City. Utah's air quality improved this year, driven by more-frequent storms and new pollution controls, state environmental officials said Monday. The improved conditions came after public outcry turned up the pressure on leaders to tackle the state's air quality, which can be the worst in the country when weather conditions trap pollution in the bowl-shaped mountain basins. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
An Indian man burns garbage by the side of a road in Mumbai, India, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. India says it is taking bold steps against climate change with plans for a five-fold increase in renewable energy capacity. However, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the country won't act to curb carbon emissions because it first must pursue economic growth to eradicate poverty. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, smoke streams from the chimneys of the E.ON coal-fired power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and with a capacity of around 2300 MW of power it is one of the most powerful coal-fired power stations in Europe. Germany announced on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 a cash boost for measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, in a bid to meet its ambitious climate target for 2020. Germany has pledged to reduce its carbon dioxide output by 40 percent by the end of the decade, compared to 1990s levels. Current estimates predict it will only achieve a 32-35 percent cut. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Cranes stand on a construction site as smoke belches from a coal-fired power station on a hazy day in Beijing, China Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. China National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua told reporters Tuesday that China will increase use of renewable energy and rely less on coal to ensure it meets its carbon emissions peak in 2030, as a new United Nations report warned the world is failing to prevent dangerous levels of global warming. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Moscow's city center skyscrapers are seen through the morning smog as the sun rays shining on them are reflected on the surface of the frozen river in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Temperatures plunged to -8 degrees Celsius (17.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
This photograph released by the Indian Ministry of Defense shows Indiaâs Agni-V missile, with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), being launched from Wheeler Island off India's east coast, Thursday, April 19, 2012. India announced the successful test launch Thursday of the new nuclear-capable missile that would give it the capability of striking the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai for the first time. (AP Photo/Indian Ministry of Defense)
FILE - This Dec. 4, 1989 file photo shows the launch of a Trident II, D-5 missile from the submerged USS Tennessee submarine in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. As of mid-2010, 12 operational U.S. nuclear-missile submarines carry a total of 288 Trident missiles. A movement is growing worldwide to abolish nuclear weapons, encouraged by President Barack Obama's endorsement of that goal. But "realists" argue that more stability and peace must first be achieved in the world. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)
In this Oct. 18, 2006 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is shown underway in the Pacific Ocean. The American destroyer was tailing the North Korean ship Kang Nam which is suspected of transporting weapons toward Myanmar, as anticipation mounted Wednesday June 24, 2009 that the North could soon test-fire short- or medium-range missiles off its eastern coast. (AP Photo/US Navy - Stephen W. Rowe)
A huge mushroom cloud raised the sky and about 70.000 people were killed after the throwing of second atomic bomb over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, only three days after the first bomb over Hiroshima. (AP Photo)
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."
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.