The Doomsday Clock remained at two minutes from midnight following its most recent update Thursday.
The clock is a metaphor that visualizes the threat humanity faces from unchecked scientific and technological advances, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — a group of experts in nuclear weapons, biological weapons and climate change.
Last year, the clock was advanced 30 seconds due to a higher threat of nuclear war. The clock was updated during tense relations between North Korea and the U.S., which have since cooled. The two countries are planning a second summit to host talks on denuclearization.
The clock is currently set at two minutes to midnight, the closest it’s been to midnight since 1953 during the Cold War.
Officials said while tensions have eased, fake news and misinformation pose a higher threat and are contributing factors in why the clock has remained the same.
“It’s a terrible world in which rage and fantasy undermine truth,” Bulletin member Herb Lin said.
He explained that cyber-enabled information warfare exploits humans’ thinking, and undermines our ability to deal constructively with the perils facing the world like climate change and nuclear weapons.
“Our leaders complain about fake news and invoke alternative facts when reality is inconvenient. They are shamelessly inconsistent,” he said in a statement.
WATCH: Scientist Herb Lin explains how cyber-enabled information warfare risks humanity
“Reliance on nuclear weapons is up, while reliance on diplomacy… is down,” said Sharon Sqassonl, Bulletin member and research professor in science and technology.
She also cited the recent news of Russian missiles that the U.S. says violates a nuclear pact, specifically the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.
WATCH: Doomsday climate clock projected onto Concordia University building
Since 2007, the clock has also reflected how climate change affects the health of the world. Scientists on the panel cited the the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as a major factor.
“Scientific evidence has shown that climate change has contributed to the world’s deadliest disasters,” Susan Solomon, Bulletin member and professor at MIT, said.
“We see this year at least as dangerous as 1953,” William Perry, former U.S. defense secretary and member of the Bulletin, said. 1953, he said, was when the Soviet Union and the U.S. were locked in an arms race.