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Home WORLD What Is A Leap Second? Here’s Everything You Should Know

What Is A Leap Second? Here’s Everything You Should Know

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Leap seconds, under which Earth’s time is advanced by 1 second, this practice will end now. Representatives of scientists and governments around the world have decided that by the year 2035, the system of leap seconds in official clocks will be abolished.

The decision to scrap the leap second was taken at the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) in Paris on 18 November. At first glance, this decision may appear to be minor, but a solution has been found to the major problems being faced by the technology friendly world.

What is leap second

A leap second is an adjustment of one second to UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). To understand in simple language, the second added or subtracted to eliminate the difference between measuring time through the International Atomic Time Clock and measuring time on the basis of Earth’s rotation is called leap second. For the first time this theory appeared in the year 1972. Leap seconds have been added ever since. Seconds are added in June or December.

Scientists have argued that under the rule of leap years, an extra day is added to the calendar every 4 years, but such calculations cannot be done in the case of leap seconds. It cannot be decided after which period to add the leap second.

Why is this practice being abolished?

The biggest reason for this is that the Earth’s orbit cannot be predicted accurately. Since the year 2020, the rotation of the earth is reportedly speeding up. Because of this, in future leap seconds may have to be removed instead of added.

All the tech companies were also demanding its removal. These include Facebook’s parent company Meta. In a blog, Meta reported that its servers were down for 40 minutes in 2012 due to the interference of the new leap second. Apart from Meta, Cloudflare also faced this problem when its DNS service was down in the year 2017 due to the new leap second. All this happened because computer networks have to be designed according to leap seconds. However, now this difficulty will end.

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