Nuclear war poses a real threat to humanity
Every year, experts behind the the clock assess how near or far humanity is to its end as they ask how much of a threat nature and man-made catastrophes could pose any given year.
Last year, the organisation – known as The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - which consists of a board made-up of 16 Nobel Laureates, moved the metaphorical clock to three minutes to midnight.
They cited “unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernisations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals” as "extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity".
The Doomsday Clock reached the closest to midnight in 2015 as it has been since 1953
The closest it has ever been to midnight was in 1953 when tensions between the USA and the Soviet Union reached boiling point, and nuclear war seemed inevitable.
The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again. Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilisation
They said at the time: "The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again. Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilisation.”
However, this year could see the clock move even closer to midnight.
Relations between the US and Russia have again turned sour and the rise and rise of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal – including the successful test of a hydrogen bomb earlier this month – has meant that humanity is under real threat.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said in a statement before the unveiling of 2016’s time: “Tensions between the United States and Russia that remain at levels reminiscent of the Cold War, the danger posed by climate change, and nuclear proliferation concerns, including the recent North Korean nuclear test, are the main factors influencing the decision about any adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock.
Relations between the US and Russia have again soured
North Korea's nuclear arsenal has increased under Kim Jong-Un