The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the Doomsday clock to one hundred seconds to midnight in recognition of the growing threat from nuclear war, climate change, and disinformation.
The clock which was created after the Second World War is a metaphor for how close mankind is to destroying the world and our ability to survive on the planet.
The scientists said the world is closer now to global catastrophe than ever before and this needs to be a wake-up call for the world.
We are closer now than ever before to the end of the world as we know it. That was the very sombre message from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who has been monitoring manmade threats to our world such as nuclear war and climate change every year since 1947.
The time on their so-called Doomsday Clock has been moved backwards and forwards over the years as a metaphor for how close to catastrophe we are.
But in the seventy five years since its inception we have never been as close to midnight as we are right now.
The time on the clock was at its furthest from midnight back in 1991 following the ending of the Cold War and signing of first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty by the United States and the Soviet Union.
The hands on the clock have been moved on 24 occasions over the decades and were set at two minutes to midnight for the past two years.
Today, following six months of consultation between the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin and its Board of Sponsors - which includes 13 Nobel Laureates - the hands on the Doomsday Clock have been moved forward to just one hundred seconds to midnight.
This is the closest to midnight the clock has ever been at, reflecting growing threats nuclear war, climate change, and disinformation.
The Bulletin said that a civilisation-ending nuclear war, whether started by design or blunder or simple miscommunication, is a genuine possibility.
In addition it said that climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening while for a variety of reasons - including a corrupted and manipulated media environment - many democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to act.
The Science and Security Board said it is compelled to declare a state of emergency that requires the immediate, focused and unrelenting attention of the entire world.
The Bulletin underscored what it called a dire international security and situation caused not just by the aforementioned threats, but also by the fact that world leaders have allowed international political infrastructure for managing those threats to erode.
It points out that national leaders have ended or undermined several major nuclear arms control treaties and negotiations over the past year.
This has creating an environment conducive to a renewed nuclear arms race, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the lowering of barriers to nuclear war.
Political conflicts regarding nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea are worsening according to the scientists and US-Russia cooperation on arms control and disarmament is all but nonexistent.
On the issue of climate change the Bulletin notes that governmental action falls far short of meeting the challenge at hand.
Few concrete plans to further limit carbon dioxide emissions are being put forward despite one of the warmest years on record, extensive wildfires, and quicker-than-expected melting of glacial ice.
Continued corruption of the information ecosphere on which democracy and public decision making depend has also heightened the nuclear and climate threats.
In the last year, many governments used cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns to sow distrust in institutions and among nations, undermining domestic and international efforts to foster peace and protect the planet.
By undermining cooperative, science- and law-based approaches to managing the most urgent threats to humanity, international leaders, according to the Bulletin, have helped to create a situation that will, if unaddressed, lead to catastrophe, sooner rather than later.