Professor Hawking said that we stand on the precipice of a second nuclear age and a period of exceptional climate change, both of which could destroy the planet as we know it, reports the Independent on Thursday.
He was speaking at the Royal Society in London on Wednesday at a conference organised by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists which has decided to move the minute hand of its "Doomsday Clock" forward to five minutes to midnight to reflect the increased dangers faced by the world.
Scientists devised the clock in 1947 as a way of expressing to the public the risk of nuclear conflagration following the use of the atomic weapons that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
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