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Imminent Crisis: Concerns for Global Warming to Climax

The Asahi Glass Foundation announced that the Environmental Doomsday Clock which displays urgency of environmental issues had struck 9:47. An additional 14 minutes had passed by since the last survey. The time shown on the clock was based on a global survey to experts. Ever since the clock started ticking in 1992, time had never sped up so quickly to reach an all-time-high crisis.

During April-June of 2018, the Asahi Glass Foundation had asked 1,866 researchers, corporate experts, and government officials across 139 countries. 27.8% of respondents mentioned “climate change” as a pressing issue, 12.0% mentioned “biodiversity,” 10.8% pointed out “water resources.” According to different age groups, those in their 20-30s found the current situation to be most critical.

For the clocks allotted to different geographical locations, North America experienced the quickest passing of time at 10:11. Next came West Europe at 10:04. Asia including Japan was at 9:48. The time for Japan only was 9:31. In the free comments section, many respondents were concerned that the U.S. had regressed in its environmental policy, after President Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the international framework to prevent global warming.

The concept of the Environmental Doomsday Clock was first introduced in 1992 when the foundation decided to show survey results in “hours and minutes” starting at 0:01 and ending at 12:00. The survey divided the clock into four time zones: Barely Concerned (0:01-3:00), Slightly Concerned (3:01-:6:00), Fairly Concerned (6:01-9:00) and Extremely Concerned.

As an attempt to show global catastrophe in terms of time, the Doomsday Clock, published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is well-known to alarm world destruction from nuclear wars. This concept was first introduced in 1947.

Diagram 1: The Environmental Doomsday Clock to strike 9:47 in 2018. The worst result ever since the clock started ticking (Provided by The Asahi Glass Foundation)

Diagram 2: Doomsday Clocks allotted to different parts of the world: Time progressed in red- colored areas while time regressed in green-colored areas (Provided by The Asahi Glass Foundation)