CHICAGO, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' symbolic representation of how close the world is to disaster, is set at 5 minutes to midnight for 2014.
That is the same as in 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported. In a letter to the United Nations, the Bulletin's science and security board cited the large U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles, the growing arsenals in China, India and Pakistan, and the threat of climate change.
"I can't tell you what happens in the room, but I can tell you it's a spirited and extremely deep discussion," John Mecklin, the editor in chief, told the Times Wednesday.
The Bulletin created the clock in 1947. Between 1953 and 1959, it was set at 2 minutes to midnight, the closest it has been to disaster.
The most optimistic setting was 23:43 p.m. between 1991 and 1994, shortly after the breakup of the Soviet Union and the effective end of the Cold War.