The Doomsday Clock

A new abnormal: It is still 2 minutes to midnight

2019 Doomsday Clock Announcement
Washington, D.C. • January 24, 2019

Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger.

There is nothing normal about the complex and frightening reality just described.

What is “The New Abnormal” ?

Robert Rosner, Science and Security Board chair
Professor of astrophysics, University of Chicago

Suzet McKinney, Science and Security Board
CEO/Executive Director, Illinois Medical District

Daniel Holz, Science and Security Board
Professor of astrophysics, University of Chicago

Rachel Bronson
President & CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

CNN Op-Ed by Jerry Brown and William Perry

Read the op-ed penned by Bulletin executive chair and former Governor of California Jerry Brown, and chair of the Bulletin Board of Sponsors and former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry. "Once more, we’re putting at risk the survival of civilization," they write, detailing the motivations behind the decision to keep the 2019 Doomsday Clock set at two minutes to midnight—the closest it's ever been to apocalypse. Read more... 

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Jerry Brown and William Perry write CNN op-ed marking 2019 Doomsday Clock announcement.
Doomsday Clock stays at two minutes to midnight as crisis now ‘new abnormal’
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Nuclear, Climate Threats Keep Doomsday Clock Close to Apocalypse

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The 2019 Doomsday Clock shows we’ve entered a “new abnormal”

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Doomsday Clock Scientists See Dual Risks of Global Annihilation

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Doomsday Clock: Humanity is still as close to catastrophe as it has ever been, scientists say

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Doomsday Clock frozen at two minutes to apocalypse

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The Doomsday Clock says it’s almost the end of the world as we know it. (And that’s not fine.)
By Holly Yan

If you have anything left on your bucket list, do it now, because the world is close to annihilation. That’s according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which gave its annual presentation of the Doomsday Clock on Thursday. A group of scientists and scholars, including 15 Nobel laureates, set the clock at 11:58 p.m. — two minutes before the symbolic apocalyptic midnight.

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Learn more about the Clock

FAQ

The Bulletin has reset the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock 23 times since its debut in 1947, most recently in 2018 when we moved it from two and a half minutes to midnight to two. Every time it is reset, we’re flooded with questions about the internationally recognized symbol. Here are answers to some of the most frequent queries.

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What is the Doomsday Clock?
The Doomsday Clock is a design that warns the public about how close we are to destroying our world with dangerous technologies of our own making. It is a metaphor, a reminder of the perils we must address if we are to survive on the planet. More...

Who created the Doomsday Clock?
Artist Martyl Langsdorf was asked to come up with a design for the cover of the June 1947 edition of the Bulletin. As she listened to the scientists who had worked on the Bomb passionately debate the consequences of the new technology and their responsibility to inform the public, she felt their sense of urgency. So she sketched a clock to suggest that we didn’t have much time left to get atomic weapons under control. More...

Who decides what time it is?
In the early days, the Bulletin’s first editor, Eugene Rabinowitch, decided whether the hand should be moved. When he died in 1973, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board took over the responsibility and has since met twice a year to discuss world events and reset the clock as necessary. The board is made up of scientists and other experts with deep knowledge of nuclear technology and climate science, who often provide expert advice to governments and international agencies. They consult widely with their colleagues across a range of disciplines and also seek the views of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 14 Nobel Laureates. More...

When were the hands set farthest from midnight?
In 1991, with the end of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the first treaty to provide for deep cuts to the two countries’ strategic nuclear weapons arsenals, prompting the Bulletin to set the clock hand to 17 minutes to midnight.

Multimedia and Interactives

Doomsday Dashboard

Just a few of the facts and factors that the Bulletin's Science and Security Board considers when it sets the Doomsday Clock.

What is the Doomsday Clock?

The Vox.com explainer on the Bulletin's signature symbol.

Know the Time

An animation of nuclear risk that combines information about nuclear testing, nuclear arsenals, and changes in the time shown by the Doomsday Clock.

Doomsday Clock timeline

Mapping changes in the time shown on the Doomsday Clock and the Clock's affect on world arts and culture. 

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How the Clock came to be

The Washington Post podcast gives a historical take on the Clock. Which makes sense; the podcast is called Retropod.

History of Clock changes

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2018

IT IS 2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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2017

IT IS TWO AND A HALF MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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2015

IT IS 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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2012

IT IS 5 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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2010

IT IS 6 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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2007

IT IS 5 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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2002

IT IS 7 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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1998

IT IS 9 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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1995

IT IS 14 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

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1991

IT IS 17 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT