Nobody ever said, « If only there were fewer hours in the day. »
However, the Earth is slowing down for no one. In fact, according to UTC officials, it is accelerating, and triggering suggestions to shorten the minute by a second. I mentioned the Telegraph.
The data shows that our previous 24-hour daily rotation is gradually decreasing, making the day marginally shorter. For example, Sunday lasted only 23 hours 59 minutes and 59.9998927 seconds. According to TimeAndDate.com. Although the planet’s rotation rate may accelerate or slow down slightly from day to day due to natural terrestrial and celestial changes, ephemeris trends indicate that recent years are generally shorter.
For example, 2020 beat the shortest day of 2005 28 times, and 2021 is set to be 19 milliseconds less than a normal year, with an average daily deficit of 0.5 milliseconds.
Watchers of the world are used to adjusting the time. Since the development of the atomic clock in the 1960s, « leap seconds » have been added 27 times to compensate slowing down rotation, According to EarthSky.org. However, the last time the amendment was called was in 2016. Since then, the Earth has started to rotate faster than usual, and now scientists are proposing the possibility of a « passive leap second » in order to balance our location in space.
« Certainly, the Earth is spinning faster now than at any time in the past 50 years, » Peter Weberley, senior researcher in the Time and Frequency Group at the National Physical Laboratory, told The Telegraph.
« It is very likely that a negative second jump will be required if the Earth’s rotation rate increases, but it is too early to determine whether this is likely to happen, » Wibberley said. He added that « an international discussion … about the future of the leap seconds » will determine whether or not the timekeeper will continue their attempts to make up for lost time.
The partial difference may not be felt on an individual scale, but the implications are critically important for science and technology as satellite communication and navigation systems depend on timing that is compatible with the universe.
As a result, some national leaders pushed to ditch the leap second corrections altogether in favor of using an unrestricted atomic clock – shorter days and everything. And according to the Telegraph, that decision will finally be left to the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2023.