Experts at The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – the organisation behind the clock – moved the clock to 2.5 minutes to midnight as heightened global tension between nations continues to take its toll.
In 2016 and 2015, the Doomsday Clock was positioned at three minutes to midnight, but much of the world is now fearing more war with the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States.
It is the closest that the Doomsday Clock has been to midnight since 1953 when hydrogen bombs were being tested for the US and Soviet Union.
Lawrence Krauss and David Titley specifically mentioned Donald Trump in a statement as his views on nuclear weapons and climate change could devastate the world.
The Doomsday Clock has moved closer to midnight
A statement from the organisation read: ”The United States now has a president who has promised to impede progress on both of those fronts.
"Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person.
"But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter."
Donald Trump recently became the 45th President of the United States
The experts also say that the threat of nuclear war is mounting: “The United States and Russia—which together possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons—remained at odds in a variety of theatres, from Syria to Ukraine to the borders of NATO; both countries continued wide-ranging modernisations of their nuclear forces, and serious arms control negotiations were nowhere to be seen.
“North Korea conducted its fourth and fifth underground nuclear tests and gave every indication it would continue to develop nuclear weapons delivery capabilities.
“Threats of nuclear warfare hung in the background as Pakistan and India faced each other warily across the Line of Control in Kashmir after militants attacked two Indian army bases.”
Scientists have warned the prospect of nuclear war is rising
Climate change was also a factor in the experts’ decision to move the clock forward, but again pointed the blame towards President Trump.
A statement read: “[Trump] has expressed disbelief in the scientific consensus on global warming. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or reject expert advice related to international security. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and the Budget have disputed or questioned climate change."
Doomsday Clock is now two and a half minutes to midnight
Climate change was another reason to prepare for doomsday
The metaphorical clock assesses the danger of apocalypse based on the threats such as nuclear Armageddon, bioterrorism, climate change and other catastrophes.
The physicists unveiled the Doomsday Clock after the atomic bombs they had helped to create decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
Co-founder Eugene Rabinowitch said: “The Bulletin's clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age.”