Official 'Doomsday Clock' predicted to move one minute closer to 'midnight'

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If you're not familiar with the 'Doomsday Clock,' then you should probably get acquainted.

The iconic device, created and maintained by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, takes into account the many potential factors that may bring about the end of the world, including nuclear threats, climate change and biosecurity, in order to accurately predict a potential apocalypse.

A description on the Bulletin's website reads:

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet.

We're guessing that by now, you've been able to surmise exactly what happens when this figurative clock strikes "midnight."

explosion nuclear bomb in ocean

Well ... something like that.

But just who is it that owns the great power of deciding whether or not to move the Earth closer to its figurative expiration date?

"The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 17 Nobel laureates," the description reads.

Sounds pretty legitimate.

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Doomsday Clock

Dr. Leon Lederman, an internationally renowned high-energy physicist, adjusts the hands on the 'Doomsday Clock' two minutes closer to midnight 27 February, 2002 at the University of Chicago. The Doomsday Clock has been used by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist since 1947 to represent the perceived danger of a catastophic nuclear event. The clock now reads 7 minutes until midnight.

(SCOTT OLSON/AFP/Getty Images)

From L to R, Lawrence Krauss (2nd L), chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientistists' Board of Sponsors, former US ambassador to the UN and current member of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board Thomas Pickering, Sivan Kartha, member of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board, and Sharon Squassoni, member of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board sit by by the 'Doomsday Clock' showing that the world is now three minutes away from catastrophe during a joint press conference of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2016.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(L-R) 'The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Publisher Rachel Bronson, Arizona State University New Origins Initiative Director Lawrence Krauss, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board member Thomas Pickering, Stockholm Environment Institute Senior Scientist Sivan Kartha and Center for Strategic and International Studies' Proliferation Prevention Program Director Sharon Squassoni hold a news conference to reveal the new setting of the Doomsday Clock at the National Press Club January 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. The bulletin's Science and Security Board takes into consideration 'the number and kinds of nuclear weapons in the world, the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the degree of acidity in our oceans and the rate of sea level rise' when setting the clock as a warning against self-destruction.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board member Thomas Pickering speaks during a news conference where The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reveals the newest setting of its Doomsday Clock at the National Press Club January 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. The bulletin's Science and Security Board takes into consideration 'the number and kinds of nuclear weapons in the world, the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the degree of acidity in our oceans and the rate of sea level rise' when setting the clock as a warning against self-destruction.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Lawrence Krauss (2nd L), chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' Board of Sponsors stands by the 'Doomsday Clock' showing that the world is now three minutes away from catastrophe as scientists at Stanford University in California unveil theirs during a joint press conference of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2016. On left, is Sharon Squassoni, member of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board, and standing behind the clock is former US ambassador to the UN and current member of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board Thomas Pickering.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Leonard Reiser, chairman of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and member of the Manhattan Project adjusts the Doomsday Clock ahead from 14 minutes to nine minutes before midnight June 11 in Chicago. The move, symbolizing the planet moving closer to nuclear peril, was prompted by the recent tests in India and Pakistan. 

(Reuters Photographer / Reuters)

Arizona State University New Origins Initiative Director Lawrence Krauss (C) and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board member Thomas Pickering (R) unveil the latest version of the Doomsday Clock with Stockholm Environment Institute Senior Scientist Sivan Kartha (L) and Center for Strategic and International Studies' Proliferation Prevention Program Director Sharon Squassoni during a news conference at the National Press Club January 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. The bulletin's Science and Security Board takes into consideration 'the number and kinds of nuclear weapons in the world, the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the degree of acidity in our oceans and the rate of sea level rise' when setting the clock as a warning against self-destruction.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(L-R) 'The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Publisher Rachel Bronson, Arizona State University New Origins Initiative Director Lawrence Krauss, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board member Thomas Pickering, Stockholm Environment Institute Senior Scientist Sivan Kartha and Center for Strategic and International Studies' Proliferation Prevention Program Director Sharon Squassoni hold a news conference at the National Press Club January 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. The bulletin's Science and Security Board takes into consideration 'the number and kinds of nuclear weapons in the world, the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the degree of acidity in our oceans and the rate of sea level rise' when setting the clock as a warning against self-destruction.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Photo dated 27 February 2002 of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist's 'Doomsday Clock' reads seven minutes to midnight after being adjusted two minutes closer in Chicago. The Doomsday Clock has been used by the Bulletin since 1947 to represent the perceived danger of a catastrophic nuclear event. Just steps from the birthplace of nuclear power, the Doomsday Clock is counting down to nuclear Armageddon and North Korea could push it closer to midnight. The Korean peninsula is not even pictured on the map etched onto the flat copper clock: only the Americas, Europe and Africa are shown, but it will dominate the discussion when a group of leading experts meet in Chicago next month to discuss the global nuclear threat.

(SCOTT OLSON/AFP/Getty Images)

(L-R) Stockholm Environment Institute Senior Scientist Sivan Kartham, Center for Strategic and International Studies' Proliferation Prevention Program Director Sharon Squassoni and Arizona State University New Origins Initiative Director Lawrence Krauss simultaneously unveil the Doomsday Clock with other scientists in California during a news conference at the National Press Club January 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. The bulletin's Science and Security Board takes into consideration 'the number and kinds of nuclear weapons in the world, the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the degree of acidity in our oceans and the rate of sea level rise' when setting the clock as a warning against self-destruction.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Center for Strategic and International Studies' Proliferation Prevention Program Director Sharon Squassoni speaks during a news conference where The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reveals the newest setting of its Doomsday Clock at the National Press Club January 26, 2016 in Washington, DC. The bulletin's Science and Security Board takes into consideration 'the number and kinds of nuclear weapons in the world, the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the degree of acidity in our oceans and the rate of sea level rise' when setting the clock as a warning against self-destruction.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(R-L) Lawrence Krauss, co-chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist (BAS), Kennette Benedict, executive director of BAS, Stephen Schneider, of BAS Science and Security Board, Jayantha Dhanapala, of BAS Board of Sponsors and Pervez Hoodbhoy, of BAS Board of Sponsors, speak to each other following 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)

(R-L) Lawrence Krauss, co-chair of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, Stephen Schneider of BAS Science and Security Board and Jayantha Dhanapala of BAS Board of Sponsors hold 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)

A depiction of the Doomsday Clock is removed following an announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) announcing that it has moved the hands to five minutes to midnight, up one minute from two years ago, at the American Association for the Advancement in Washington, DC, on January 10, 2012. The closer the time on the Doomsday Clock is to midnight, the closer the world is to global disaster according to the organization. Citing what they called 'inadequate progress on nuclear weapons reduction and proliferation and continuing inaction on climate change,' the organization decided to move the time one minute closer to midnight, the closest it has been to midnight since 2007.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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Unfortunately, the clock is expected to be moved one minute closer to 'midnight' on Thursday, largely due to increasing tensions between Russia and the United States.

If the move actually does happen, this will mark the closest the world has been to the apocalypse since 1953, when the U.S. upgraded its nuclear arsenal with the hydrogen bomb.

"The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again," the Bulletin announced in '53. "Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization."

Will history repeat itself tomorrow? We'll just have to wait and see.

The scientists behind the clock will livestream the potential time adjustment at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday.

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