Scientists have reset the world famous Doomsday Clock one minute closer to Hour Zero, midnight, after a perilous 2011. The clock, first introduced during the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union during the 1960s, measures the threat of a world-ending nuclear Armageddon.
Scientists and global threat experts decided to move the clock's time up to five minutes to midnight in response to Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown as well as Iran and North Korea's continued plans to produce nuclear weapons. The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan created the worst nuclear accident the world has ever witnessed at the stricken Fukushima facility, which went into a complete meltdown.
Also considered was an extremely long list of natural disasters during the year, which have placed a huge threat to the global food supply, as well as the continued rise in cost of fuel and basic energy supplies needed to keep key infrastructure running smoothly. Major breakdowns in the food and energy supply could create tense situations between nations, experts have warned. China's increasing military might has also been given as a reason for the change in the clock, as the Asian superpower spends trillions of dollars on military war craft and weapons, while engaging in war of rhetoric and saber-rattling with the United States.
The crumbling global economy was cited as another reason for the clock to move forward one minute, as well as increasing incidences of civil unrest and revolution that quickly encompassed the globe in 2011. The clock last changed in January 2010, when it moved back one minute, as assessments indicated a lessened threat of nuclear war or incident.