Earth spinning slower may prompt a negative leap second

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Earth’s slower rotation may mean that universal time will have to skip a second for the first time ever, researchers have found.
But the next leap second is expected to be the first negative leap second instead of an extra one.
Leap seconds are added because if Earth is rotating slower over millions of years then a Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) minute would need to be 61 seconds long for the planet to catch up.
Since 1972, leap seconds have been used to adjust the official time from atomic clocks with Earth’s unstable speed of rotation.
Solar eclipse 2024:Latest forecast is looking cloudy for some in path of totality Scientists voted to end leap seconds In late 2022, a global panel of scientists and government representatives voted to end leap seconds by 2035.
Many experts said leap seconds have caused complications for computing and fear most computer codes are incapable of comprehending a negative one, according to the Nature report.
Negative leap second is still pending It’s still uncertain when or whether a negative leap second would occur, the report added.
The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service will determine when a leap second would be introduced.

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Scientists have discovered that, for the first time ever, Earth’s slower rotation may require universal time to jump by one second.

This week’s report in the scientific journal Nature states that the Earth is rotating so slowly that a negative leap second is needed as the melting of ice caps and rising sea levels are intensified by climate change.

The necessity of a leap second—a technique for modifying atomic clocks—was originally scheduled for 2026 but has now been postponed until 2029, according to geophysicist Duncan Agnew, the study’s author. However, rather than an additional leap second, the next one is anticipated to be the first negative leap second.

“We have no idea how to handle even a single second going missing. “This is the reason time meteorologists are concerned,” the report quoted Felicitas Arias, the former head of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures’ Time Department.

Leap seconds are added because a Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) minute would need to be 61 seconds long in order for the planet to catch up if Earth’s rotation were to slow down over millions of years.

What is a leap second?

Leap seconds have been utilized since 1972 to account for Earth’s erratic rotational speed when determining the official time derived from atomic clocks.

According to the United States Navy, civil time is periodically adjusted by one-second increments to ensure that the “difference between a uniform time scale defined by atomic clocks does not differ from the Earth’s rotational time by more than 0.9 seconds.”.

On December, UTC had its final leap second. as per the Navy, on December 31, 2016.

Solar eclipse 2024: According to the most recent forecast, some areas in the path of totality may see cloud cover.

Voters among scientists decided to do away with leap seconds.

A global panel of scientists and government representatives decided to do away with leap seconds by 2035 at the end of 2022.

A Nature report stated that many experts fear most computer codes cannot understand a negative leap second, which has complicated computing. Heading up the time and frequency division at the U.S. s. Leap seconds are a major cause of computing system failures, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which raises additional concerns about a negative one.

In all the current computer codes, Donley claimed, “there is no accounting for it.”.

It is still not yet negative leap second.

The report also stated that it’s still unclear if or when a negative leap second would happen.

Astrogeophysicist Christian Bizouard says speculation that one is required is predicated on the Earth’s orbital velocity remaining constant. The introduction date of a leap second will be decided by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.

Bizouard stated in the report, “We do not know when that means acceleration will stop and reverse itself.”.

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