WW3: What is the Doomsday Clock? Does it predict World War Three?Â

Donald Trump sparked fears that a new 'arms race' could be sparked after withdrawing from a treaty with Russia.Â

Tuesday, 30th October 2018, 5:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th October 2018, 6:15 pm
HMS Argyll firing trials of the new Sea Ceptor air defence system. Picture: Royal Navy

The U.S. President announced last weekend that he intends to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (IRNFT).

President Trump also announced his intentions to build new ballistic missiles. 

All of which has raised fears that the world could be on the brink of World War Three. 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

HMS Argyll firing trials of the new Sea Ceptor air defence system. Picture: Royal Navy

And the Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than its been in over 60 years. 

But what is the Doomsday Clock and can it predict World War Three? 

Here's all you need to know: 

What is the Doomsday Clock? 

The Doomsday Clock is a symbol which represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe. 

It has existed since 1947 and is maintained by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board. 

During the cold war it was used as an analogy for the chances of global nuclear holocaust. 

With midnight representing a global catastrophe and the '˜minutes' to midnight representing how close the world is to it. 

Read More

Read More
WW3: Could Russia attack these former Cold War hit list targets including Portsm...

While originally referring to a nuclear apocalypse - the Doomsday clock also now includes climate change as part of the global catastrophe. 

What is the current '˜minutes to midnight'? 

According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board '“ the current minutes to midnight is 2. 

This is the closest the Doomsday Clock has been to midnight since 1953 - when the hands were also at 2. 

The furthest it has been from midnight was 17 - following the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. 

However the closest the world came to a Nuclear War was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 196 2- but that climax and resolved before the minutes could be changed. 

Does the Doomsday Clock predict WW3? 

No the clock isn't a predictor of the chances of World War Three just the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board's belief of how close the world is to a global man-made catastrophe. 

When deciding on the minutes to midnight for any given year they consider a wide range of factors '“ which might include Politics, Energy, Weapons, Diplomacy, and Climate science. 

With potential threats including nuclear threats, climate change, bio-terrorism, and artificial intelligence