'Doomsday Clock' officially moves 30 seconds closer to 'midnight'


If The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — whose Board of Sponsors includes 17 Nobel laureates — is to be believed, then we're closer to the apocalypse than we've been in a very long time.

The Bulletin officially moved the hands on their infamous Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer towards 'midnight' on Thursday morning.

If you're not familiar with the clock, here it is in a nut shell.

The foreboding device, created and maintained by the Bulletin, takes into account the many potential factors that may bring about the end of the world in order to accurately predict a potential apocalypse.

Perils that can contribute to the clock's change can include, but are not limited to, nuclear threats, climate change and biosecurity challenges.

According to the group, when the clock hits 'midnight,' the world as we know it comes to an end -- though by what method is yet to be determined.

For the past two years, the device has rested at a comfortable 3 minutes away from planet-wide doom.

But Thursday's change marks 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."

In a statement about Thursday's time change, the Bulletin explained that the adjustment was made because the international community failed to deal with two of humanity's most impending threats: nuclear weapons and climate change.

"In 2016, world leaders not only failed to deal adequately with those threats; they actually increased the risk of nuclear war and unchecked climate change through a variety of provocative statements and actions,including careless rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons and the wanton defiance of scientific truths," the Bulletin wrote.

No matter how grim that sounds, they attributed their conservative 30-second movement to a sense of cautious optimism about the new presidential administration.

%shareLinks-quote="The board's decision to move the clock less than a full minute reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days." type="quote" author="The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday="false"%

The Bulletin's full assessment ended on a serious note, imploring world leaders to take action in our most pressing global issues before it's too late.

"We call on these leaders— particularly in Russia and the United States—to refocus in the coming year on reducing existential risks and preserving humanity, in no small part by consulting with top-level experts and taking scientific research and observed reality into account," the group wrote.

Also noted in the report was how crucial the role of the public will be in ensuring these dire changes get made.

"We know from experience that governmental leaders respond to public pressure, we also call on citizens of the world to express themselves in all the ways available to them— including through use of the powerful new tools of social media—to demand that."

See photos of the infamous clock: