Today, scientists made the unprecedented step of moving the famous "doomsday clock" ahead 30 seconds to 2:30 to midnight. This is significantly closer than before.
Although the clock has never been moved ahead by 30 seconds, it has been closer to midnight in the past. In 1953, it was 2 minutes to midnight. However, 2:30 is now the second closest to midnight that the clock has ever reached. The clock has been in use since 1947, when it was started at 7 minutes to midnight. In 1991, the clock was set to 17 minutes before midnight -- its lowest setting -- because of the START nuclear nonproliferation treaties with Russia.
Some of the reasons given were: nuclear rhetoric and tests -- especially by North Korea; nuclear modernization in Russia and the U.S.; the cancelation of the Iran nuclear deal; "alternative facts" on climate change; and cyber issues, such as fake news and hacking.
During their press conference, the scientists specifically mentioned Donald Trump and his cabinet choices in their explanation for the clock change. In other parts of the press conference, the scientists said that the safety of the world has never been so connected to the decisions of a few men (they later clarified that the two men were Putin and Trump). The scientists also said Putin or Trump can make a change, or they can act as "petulant children" and let doomsday draw near.
There has not yet been a response from Trump, who had previously pledged to make America safer than ever.