A group of scientists that tracks the likelihood of a global cataclysm announced Tuesday that it has moved its "Doomsday Clock" to five minutes to midnight.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said inadequate progress on reducing nuclear weapons and continuing inaction on climate change prompted the switch.
The clock had been at six minutes to midnight for the last two years. It was previously set at five minutes to 12 from 2007-2010. Now back to 11:55 we are.
The group says in a statement that two years ago, there was reason for optimism "that world leaders might address the truly global threats we face."
However, "In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed."
The closest the Doomsday Clock has been to midnight was 11:58 in in 1953, when the U.S. and Soviet Union ramped up their thermonuclear arms race.
In 1991, with the fall of the Soviet Union and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the clock was at 11:43, its earliest time since its inception in 1947.
Of course, the end of the world's coming December 21, 2012 anyway, so it may matter little in the end. Nuclear standoffs have nothing on the rapture.