New York, Jan. 15 (ANI): The Doomsday Clock, which symbolically represents the time remaining until civilization is destroyed in a nuclear war, has been moved a minute back because of a more "hopeful state of world affairs".
The barometer of nuclear danger for the past 55 years, devised by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) now stands at six minutes to the "midnight hour".
"By shifting the hand back from midnight by only one additional minute, we emphasize how much needs to be accomplished, while at the same time recognizing signs of collaboration among the United States, Russia, the European Union, India, China, Brazil, and others on nuclear security and on climate stabilization," BBC quoted the BAS board, as saying at a news conference here.
The clock, which was first featured by the magazine in 1947, shortly after the US dropped its A-bombs on Japan, had been adjusted 18 times since its initial start at seven minutes to midnight.
In January 2007, the clock moved to five minutes to midnight, when climate change was added to the prospect of nuclear annihilation as the greatest threats to humankind.
The concerns then included Iran's nuclear ambitions and the inability to halt the international trafficking of nuclear materials such as highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
Two years later, however, the board of the BAS says that there is now a "growing political will" to tackle both the "terror of nuclear weapons" and "runaway climate change".
But Lawrence Krauss, co-chair of the BAS board of sponsors, warned scientists that there was still much to be done.
"We urge leaders to fulfil the promise of a nuclear weapon-free world and to act now to slow the pace of climate change. We are mindful of the fact that the clock is ticking," he said.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, founded by former Manhattan Project physicists, has campaigned for nuclear disarmament since 1947.
Its board periodically reviews issues of global security and challenges to humanity. (ANI)