Doomsday Clock Adjusted

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face, maintained since 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, that uses the analogy of the human species being at a time that is "minutes to midnight", wherein midnight represents "catastrophic destruction". The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global disaster. The most recent officially-announced setting — six minutes to midnight — was on 14 January 2010.

The clock hands have been set nineteen times, since its initial start at seven minutes to midnight in 1947.

1947: 11:53pm - The initial setting of the Doomsday Clock.
1949: 11:57pm - The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb.
1953: 11:58pm - The United States and the Soviet Union test thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another. (This is the clock's closest approach to midnight since its inception.)
1960: 11:53pm - In response to a perception of increased scientific cooperation and public understanding of the dangers of nuclear weapons.
1963: 11:48pm - The United States and Soviet Union sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty, limiting atmospheric nuclear testing.
1968: 11:53pm - France and China acquire and test nuclear weapons (1960 (Gerboise Bleue nuclear test) and 1964 (596 nuclear test) respectively).
1969: 11:50pm - The U.S. Senate ratifies the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
1972: 11:48pm - The United States and the Soviet Union sign the SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
1974: 11:51pm - India tests a nuclear device (Smiling Buddha), SALT II talks stall.
1980: 11:53pm - Further deadlock in US-USSR talks, increase in nationalist wars and terrorist actions.
1981: 11:56pm - Arms race escalates, conflicts in Afghanistan, South Africa, and Poland add to world tension.
1984: 11:57pm - Further escalation of the arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
1988: 11:54pm - The U.S. and the Soviet Union sign treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces, relations improve.
1990: 11:50pm - Fall of the Berlin Wall, dissolution of Iron Curtain sealing off Eastern Europe, Cold War nearing an end.
1991: 11:43pm - United States and Soviet Union sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. (This is the clock's earliest setting since its inception.)
1995: 11:46pm - Global military spending continues at Cold War levels; concerns about post-Soviet nuclear proliferation of weapons and brainpower.
1998: 11:51pm - Both India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons in a tit-for-tat show of aggression; the United States and Russia run into difficulties in further reducing stockpiles.
2002: 11:53pm - Little progress on global nuclear disarmament; United States rejects a series of arms control treaties and announces its intentions to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; concerns about the possibility of a nuclear terrorist attack due to the amount of weapon-grade nuclear materials that are unsecured and unaccounted for worldwide.
2007: 11:55pm - North Korea's test of a nuclear weapon[5], Iran's nuclear ambitions, a renewed U.S. emphasis on the military utility of nuclear weapons, the failure to adequately secure nuclear materials, and the continued presence of some 26,000 nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia.[6] Some scientists assessing the dangers posed to civilization have added climate change to the prospect of nuclear annihilation as the greatest threats to humankind.[7]
2010: 11:54pm - Worldwide cooperation to reduce nuclear arsenals.



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