'Doomsday Clock' Is Now Set at 100 Seconds to Midnight, and Here's What It Really Means

The Doomsday Clock is now set 100 seconds to midnight. While that may not make too much sense to the everyday person, what this truly means is that the likelihood of a man-man global catastrophe, such as an atomic bomb, is increasing.

On the surface, the "clock" is a metaphorical symbol that takes the temperature of the world and assesses the chances of a major global threat incoming. It was invented back in 1947 during the nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States.

What midnight represents is the end of the world. So when the clock ends up losing 100 seconds, metaphorically speaking, the world is moving closer to total annihilation. This is the closest the clock has ever been to midnight.

"It is 100 seconds to midnight. We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds — not hours, or even minutes," the Bulletin's President Rachel Bronson said in a statement. "We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay.

"Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers — nuclear war and climate change — that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond."

Climate change has certainly become a growing fear and is one of the reasons behind the metaphorical clock's advancement.

It was discovered that 2019 was the second hottest year on record and was the capstone for what was the hottest decade ever.

"This shows that what's happening is persistent, not a fluke due to some weather phenomenon: We know that the long-term trends are being driven by the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," a NASA official said of the findings.

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Climate change has also been linked to the devastation going on in Australia with the bushfires. During the Golden Globes, native actor Russell Crowe discussed the issue in his acceptance speech.

"Make no mistake," his message began. "The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique amazing place it is, that way we all have a future."