We may have to make a ‘negative leap second’ because the earth rotates faster

Scientists are suggesting we put a micro-variant of leap years into the clocks after researchers recently recorded Earth’s shortest day since scientists started tracking it.

On June 29, the planet completed one revolution in 1.59 milliseconds less than the usual 24 hours. That’s according to measurements made by the UK’s National Physics Laboratory, which show that the Earth is rotating faster than half a century ago.

Earth’s rotation began to accelerate in 2016, although not every day, scientist Leonid Zotov, working at Lomonosov Moscow State University, said CBS News. Scientists have yet to pinpoint exactly why the Earth suddenly accelerates its rotation and shortens its day, but they have theorized. Zotov and his colleagues believe it could be caused by an irregular motion at the Earth’s poles, a phenomenon known as “Chandler Wobble”.

If the Earth’s rotation speed increased faster, some scientists have warned that it could require erasing a second from our clocks, a correction known as a “negative leap second”.

Astrophysicist Graham Jones writes in a post on Date and time, a world clock tracking website. “This would be required to keep civil time – based on the super-stable cadence of atomic clocks – in sync with Solar time, based on the Sun’s movement across the sky.”

Zotov agrees that is a possibility but believes the chances of needing to adjust the clock are low at the moment. “I think there’s a 70 percent chance we’re at the bare minimum and we won’t need a negative leap second,” he said. he said Jones.

Our recommendation to adjust the clock to seconds is not common among tech companies. Two Meta engineers, Oleg Obleukhov and Ahmad Byagowi detailed in July blog post why they support the “industry effort to prevent future introductions of leap seconds” in the next millennium.

“As an industry, we run into problems whenever a leap second is introduced. And because it’s such a rare event, it devastates the community every time it happens,” they wrote. “With the growing demand for clock accuracy across all industries, leap seconds is now doing more damage than good, leading to chaos and outages.”

In 2015, the addition of a positive leap second to the clock remove systems at several technology companies, including Twitter and Android. Three years ago, another leap second caused IT problems with the check-in system used by Australia’s largest airline and has delayed more than 400 flights in two hours.

Since there has never been a negative leap second, the couple from Meta warns CBS News that “it has never been verified on a large scale and will likely lead to unpredictable and devastating power outages around the world.”

The leap seconds system was introduced in 1972, and leap seconds have since been added 27 times to UTC, the standard the world uses to regulate atomic clocks. Institute of Standards and Technology.

The extra second is what causes the Earth’s rotation to slow down for a long time. With a reversal of that trend over the years, the last time a positive leap second was added was on the last day of 2016. This January, the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service to exclude, to expel the possibility of introducing a leap second at the end of June. Another cannot be added until December 31 at the earliest.

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