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Doomsday Clock marks five before midnight

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Doomsday Clock moved two minutes closer to midnight Wednesday, going from seven minutes to five minutes before midnight.

The change was made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, or BAS, in consultation with the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors. The decision is based on the deteriorating global situation, due to nuclear weapons, and this year's new factor -- climate change.

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The time is now only five minutes to midnight.

The change to the Doomsday Clock was announced Wednesday at an unprecedented joint news conference held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC, and the Royal Society in London.

The BAS Board issued a statement supporting the decision to move the hand of the Doomsday Clock forward, based on two major sources of catastrophe: the perils of 27,000 nuclear weapons, 2,000 of them ready to launch within minutes; and the destruction of human habitats from climate change.

Fourteen leading scientists and security experts have contributed articles in the January-February issue of theBulletin of the Atomic Scientists (http://www.thebulletin.org), where the potential for catastrophic damage from human-made technologies is explored further.

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