Atomic scientists on Tuesday maintained their “Doomsday Clock” as close to midnight as ever before, citing the actions of Russia on nuclear weapons in the midst of its invasion of Ukrainethe war of Loop of Israel with nuclear weapons and worsening climate change as factors driving the risk of global catastrophe.
He Bulletin of the Atomic Scientistslike last year, set the clock on 90 seconds to midnight, the theoretical point of annihilation. Scientists set the clock based on risks “existential” for the Land and its inhabitants: nuclear threats, climate change and disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and new biotechnology.
“Flashpoints around the world carry the threat of nuclear escalation, climate change is already causing death and destruction, and disruptive technologies like AI and biological research are advancing faster than their safeguards.“, he declared to Reuters Rachel Bronsonpresident and CEO of the Bulletin, who added that keeping the clock unchanged compared to the previous year “It is not an indication that the world is stable”.
The non-profit organization based in Chicago created the clock in 1947, during the tensions of the Cold War that followed the Second World War, to warn the public of how close humanity was to destroying the world. On Tuesday he noted that trends continue to point toward catastrophe, including the fact that China, Russia and USA They are spending large amounts of money to expand or modernize their nuclear arsenals, increasing the risk of nuclear war due to mistake or miscalculation.
The large scale invasion of Ukraine by Russiawhich will celebrate its second anniversary next month, has raised tensions with the West to their most dangerous levels since the Cold War.
“A lasting end to Russia’s war in Ukraine appears distant, and Russia’s use of nuclear weapons in that conflict remains a serious possibility. Over the past year, Russia has sent numerous worrying nuclear signalsBronson stated.
Bronson cited the decision of the Russian president, Vladimir Putinto suspend Russian participation in the new treaty in February 2023 START with USAwhich limited the strategic nuclear arsenals of both countries. USA and Russia Together they possess almost 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads, enough to destroy the planet several times over.
Bronson He also cited the announcement of Putin in March 2023 of the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus and the approval by the Russian Parliament in October 2023 of a law that withdraws ratification of the global treaty banning nuclear weapons testing. The Russian analyst Sergei Karaganov He also spoke last year of the need to threaten nuclear attacks in Europe to intimidate and “sober up” the enemies of Moscow.
According to Alexander Glaserof the Princeton University and member of the Bulletin’s council of experts on nuclear technology and climatology, traditional nuclear weapons control has come to an end for now, while a three-way nuclear arms race is taking shape between China, Russia and USA.
“The outlook is quite bleak on the nuclear side this year”Glaser added.
Israel is at war with Hamas since the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamist group launched attacks in southern Israel in October 2023.
“As a nuclear state, Israel’s actions are clearly relevant to the Doomsday Clock debate. Of particular concern is that the conflict will spread to the region, creating a larger conventional war and attracting more nuclear or near-nuclear powers.Bronson noted.
In 2007, climate change was added as a clock adjustment factor.
“In 2023, the world entered uncharted territory as it experienced the hottest year on record and global greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise.”he explained Bronson. “Both global and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures broke records, and Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest daily extent since the advent of satellite data.”
Bronson said that while 2023 was a record year for clean energy with $1.7 trillion in new investments, investments in fossil fuels totaled nearly $1 trillion. Bronson called current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “grossly insufficient to avoid the dangerous human and economic impacts of climate change, which disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people.”
The Bulletin was founded in 1945 by scientists such as Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer.