“We are sending a message that the situation is becoming more urgent,” Bulletin President Rachel Bronson said at the online announcement. “Crises are more likely to happen and have broader consequences and longer standing effects.”
And to emphasize the effect that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had on moving closer to theoretical doomsday, the group said it was also announcing the clock movement in the Russian and Ukrainian languages for the first time.
“Putin has repeatedly raised the specter of nuclear use,” said Steve Fetter, dean of the graduate school and a public policy professor at the University of Maryland.
“Putin has given no indication that he's willing to accept defeat,” Fetter said. “He might make desperate moves if no other options are available that he regards as acceptable.”
Scientists and activists at the Bulletin announcement also mentioned nuclear weapon proliferation in China, Iran increasing its uranium enrichment, missile tests in North Korea, future pandemics from animal diseases, pathogens from lab mistakes, “disruptive technologies” and worsening climate change as other existential threats to humanity.