The “Doomsday Clock”; 100 seconds to Armageddon

The Doomsday Clock is a symbol that represents the doom of mankind and how close we are to our demise. The clock is a reminder for the unchecked technological and scientific advancements, The clock represents man-made destruction of humankind. The clock is maintained by Atomic Scientist.

On 23 January 2020 after 75 years after the first issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists the hand of the clock was moved 20 seconds closer to midnight, the “END” closest it has ever been, past social issues or nuclear threats have not brought it this close to midnight, even the forever expectation of nuclear war in the era of Cold War or the threats made by North Korea still did not pose such threat as we face today.

 But now the team behind the clock says the threat is even more severe.

“Faced with this daunting threat landscape and a new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board today moves the Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight—closer to apocalypse than ever.”

“It is 100 seconds to Midnight”

Asia was where the eyes were this time around, with the increasing tensions between five out of nine countries that have nuclear capabilities, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, and North Korea. All were at the verge of full-on war by one conflict, the world waits and sees which conflict would that be; The South China Sea as China expands its influence as well and economical prowess upon the area as well as the ongoing internal conflicts with Taiwan as well as Hong Kong.

India and Pakistan have their tensions rising as the issue of Kashmir has brought on the center plate for each of them, relations between the two countries have forever been sour since they got their independence, religious discrimination runs rampant and one of the crucial reason for separation. New Laws like CAA and NRC also bring forth internal conflict in India.

Prospects of nuclear war higher than it has ever been before.

North Korea and the Korean peninsula has been unstable since the end of World War 2 and it might be the reason for the Third one as well, the Korean peninsula was divided by the two superpowers after World War 2, i.e. USA and USSR with each controlling South Korea and North Korea respectively.

Robert Rosner, chair of the Bulletin’s science and security board, stated that the world right now is “profoundly unstable.” He added that threats are compounded by an increase in “cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns,” which is crippling “the public’s ability to sort out what’s true and what’s patently false.”

Climate change and the constant ignorance of the world leaders towards it is also an alarming sign which should not be taken lightly, the signs of climate change are here, it is undeniable. Extreme climate disasters are happening all across the world from the fires that burned Australia to the floods which drowned Africa.

Internet is now widespread and can be accessed with one click but with the increasingly pressing issue of disinformation and manipulation of the masses which undermines domestic and international efforts to promote peace and prosper the planet.

Influential leaders instead of working together and aiming for world peace and protecting the environment are instead taking actions towards narrow short term personal interest while at the same time undermining scientific as well as global progress.

Doomsday clock is an alarm for the world to wake up, and being 100 seconds away from “Midnight” we don’t have time to sit idle, otherwise, we would have nothing left.

A Deeper look at Burning Australia

Bush fires in Australia is a natural part of the country’s ecosystem but it is not isolated the reason why Australia is burning is linked to the same reason why East Africa is flooding, In 2003, 2 million hectares were burned in Australia by the bush fires, but the fires that started in 2019 and so much worse, at more than 4.9 million hectares in New South Wales alone, and its only going to grow.

As the world is getting warmer from climate change, so is Australia, 2019 was its hottest year on record with parts of the country reaching 45 degrees Celsius in December, 2019 has also been the driest year for Australia, together these provide the perfect conditions for bushfires to start and spread quickly.

There are multiple factors which increase the likeliness of Australia’s bush fire season, But one of the most influential is the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The IOD is a big temperature gradient which affects the surface water on the India Ocean it spreads from East Africa to Australia and Oceania, There are three phases in the temperature of IOD, Positive, Neutral and Negative. When the IOD is Neutral the surface water in the Indian Ocean is evenly warm. A Negative phase is when the winds come in the West and shift the warm water towards Australia. Australia is used to more rain during the Negative phase sometimes even floods, but at the same time East Africa gets less rain and even drought, a Positive phase is what’s happening right now, it’s when the winds come from the East and shift the warm surface water towards Africa which causes flooding there and droughts in Australia.

The entire process of shifting water temperature is nature but what’s happening right now is extreme shifts, The Positive IOD was one of the strongest on record, with the water temperature difference between Africa and Australia being unusually high. Resulting in extreme weather in Australia but also in Africa.

As the planet’s temperature continues to rise to higher than ever before, extreme climate conditions can become the new normal.