Scientists turn back Doomsday Clock
New York: Citing increased international cooperation to curb nuclear weapons and global warming, scientists Thursday moved the so-called Doomsday Clock back by one minute.
The clock was created by nuclear scientists in 1947 to symbolise the world's proximity to planetary catastrophe with midnight signalling the apocalypse. Following Thursday's move the clock now reads six minutes to midnight.
"For the first time since atomic bombs were dropped in 1945, leaders of nuclear weapons states are cooperating to vastly reduce their arsenals and secure all nuclear bomb-making material," said the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which includes 19 Nobel laureates.
"For the first time ever, industrialised and developing countries alike are pledging to limit climate-changing gas emissions that could render our planet nearly uninhabitable.
"These unprecedented steps are signs of a growing political will to tackle the two gravest threats to civilisation - the terror of nuclear weapons and runaway climate change," it said.
The clock has been adjusted 18 times in its 64-year history, most recently in January 2007 and February 2002 following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.