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Doomsday clock - live: World to find out how close it is to oblivion as scientists announce 2023 time

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The world is about to find out just how close to oblivion we are.

The Doomsday Clock – intended as a way of tracking how much danger humanity finds itself in – is about to receive its annual adjustment on Tuesday.

At the moment, the clock stands at 100 seconds to midnight, as it has for three years in a row. When that was announced, in 2022, those behind it warned that it was not good news.

“Steady is not good news,” professor Sharon Squassoni from the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy said then. “We are stuck in a perilous moment, one that brings neither stability nor security.”

The time is set by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has maintained it since 1947, amid fears over nuclear war. It has never been closer to midnight than it is now.

Key Points

  • What is the Doomsday Clock?

  • Will the clock change today?

Will the clock change today?

14:46 , Andrew Griffin

The Doomsday Clock already stands at its most perilous time: 100 seconds to midnight, closer than ever before. It’s been that way for the last three years.

This time around, there’s an argument that it could get closer, given that since it was last updated there has been war in Ukraine and much else besides.

But the team behind it have also been resistant in recent years to moving it forward, presumably because there is little time left: it originally moved in minutes, but in recent times has had to switch to seconds, presumably because there is less than two minutes left before midnight.

And they might have cause for optimism. Though it’s not clear where they would find it.

What is the Doomsday Clock?

14:43 , Andrew Griffin

The clock is intended as a serious, scary metaphor that will alert people to the dangers they face. Historically, that has been nuclear war, but these days it’s also used as a measure of other threats, such as climate change and cyber attacks.

A full explanation of what it is and where it came from is here.

Hello and welcome...

14:37 , Andrew Griffin

... to The Independent’s live coverage of the announcement of the time of the Doomsday Clock in 2023.