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Doomsday Clock is about to be set for 2024 as we’re closer to midnight than ever before

Doomsday Clock is about to be set for 2024 as we’re closer to midnight than ever before

Set your calendars, because experts are about to reveal just how close we are to the apocalypse.

Just to inject a bit of fear into your day, when was the last time you thought about the Doomsday Clock?

You know, the symbolic timepiece showing how close the world is to ending.

As you can probably imagine with the state of things right now, it's not looking particularly good for us.

Last year scientists talked about the “unprecedented danger” posed by the Russia-Ukraine war, with the clock shifting to 90 seconds away from striking 12 - the closest it has ever been.

Midnight, on this timepiece, is what's known as Doomsday - something we're not particularly keen on meeting any time soon.

On Tuesday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will announce whether the clock will remain the same, move forward, or move back.

Experts from this non-profit organization established the countdown back in 1947, to provide a simple (and pretty terrifying) way of demonstrating the danger to the Earth and humanity posed by nuclear war. These were the same scientists working on the Manhattan Project to design and build the first atomic bomb.

It was originally intended as a warning about the threat of nuclear armageddon, but it's evolved to take other dangers into account - things like climate change or advances in biotechnology.

The clock first started ticking at seven minutes to midnight – and has moved forwards and backwards over the years as the threats to the world have changed.

Anna Moneymaker / Staff

In 2020, it was set at 100 seconds to midnight, and remained unchanged for the next three years.

Last year, scientists weren't just concerned about the Russia-Ukraine war - they were also worried about China’s expansion of its nuclear capabilities, as well as North Korea stepping up its intermediate and longer-range missile testing.

"When the clock is at midnight, that means there's been some sort of nuclear exchange or catastrophic climate change that's wiped out humanity. We never really want to get there and we won't know it when we do," said Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Scientist Bill Nye is set to join the team from the Doomsday Clock for the announcement this year - and we can't really see a world where the clock moves back, taking us further away from danger.

What with the Israel-Gaza war as well as the increasing threat of climate change, we wouldn't be surprised if it ticked further forward - but we'll have to wait for the official announcement to see.

Featured Image Credit: Anna Moneymaker / Staff / johan63 / Getty