WE will find out how close we are to Armageddon when the world’s most revered scientists gather in Washington DC to announce what time it is on the Doomsday Clock. The symbolic timekeeper of our impending destruction is currently set at three minutes to midnight — the closest we have ever been to that dreaded hour since the clock began ticking in 1947. The clock is a universally recognised indicator of our vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, emerging technologies and more recently, global warming.

We ignore it at our peril. On Wednesday morning (1.30pm Tuesday in America), the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will reveal whether the minute hand will be adjusted, at a live press conference in Washington DC. “Tensions between the United States and Russia that remain at levels reminiscent of the Cold War, the danger posed by climate change, and nuclear proliferation concerns, including the recent North Korean nuclear test, are the main factors influencing the decision about any adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock,” a statement on the Bulletin’s website said. FULL REPORT