The “doomsday clock” crept two minutes closer to midnight this past January, a visual cue that represents the increasing likelihood of global catastrophe. Scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project created the symbolic clock in 1947, which is maintained by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. For the first time, the board factored into its decision the dangers associated with climate change, in addition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. —Thania Benios
Current doomsday time: 11:55 P.M.
Number of times in the clock's 60-year history that the minute hand has been wound:
Doomsday time in 1953 (closest ever to midnight): 11:58 P.M.
Doomsday time in 1991 (furthest from midnight): 11:43 P.M.
Number of nuclear warheads:
In the world: 27,000
In the U.S. and Russia: 26,000
That are launch-ready: 2,000
SOURCE: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists statement, January 17