Feeds

Scientists bring forward nuclear holocaust

The Final Countdown

The essential guide to IT transformation

The planet will move closer to an inevitable firey armageddon on Wednesday, when a group of atomic scientists move their "Doomsday clock" forward in response to the volatile international climate.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has operated the clock since 1947. The symbolic timepiece has been maintained at the University of Chicago and by way of reaction to events has been gradually moved forward towards midnight - the nuclear holocaust.

The time will read five minutes to apocalypse from tomorrow following North Korea's latest bout of attention-seeking, Iranian refusal to submit to nuclear inspections, and the ambient peril from extremists of all flavours. The apparent availablity of nuclear material in former Soviet states in exchange for a sack of spuds and victory in an arm wrestle doesn't help matters either. Nor does climate change, they reckon.

A statement from the organisation said:

The major new step reflects growing concerns about a "Second Nuclear Age" marked by grave threats, including: nuclear ambitions in Iran and North Korea, unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, the continuing "launch-ready" status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and Russia, escalating terrorism, and new pressure from climate change for expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks.

The Doomsday clock currently stands at seven minutes to midnight, having been last nudged forward in 2002 when the US announced plans to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The clock homepage currently trails the announcement, but there's a handy history of humanity's march to oblivion over at Wikipedia here.

For our part, we don't need telling we're doomed; we're already plenty scared having seen birds flying backwards this morning and Terminator 3 on Channel Five at the weekend. ®

Bootnote

Our hairspray synthrock correspondent writes to request we point readers in the direction of a debate over the lyrics to Europe's soundtrack to armageddon The Final Countdown. Heavyweight analysis here.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?