Clocking in the Changing Times: How Climate Change is Impacting Timekeeping

Physics World: Climate change’s impact on time correction through ‘negative leap seconds’

As climate change continues to affect our planet, it is important to consider how it might impact other aspects of our lives, including how we measure and keep track of time. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) is responsible for managing time corrections such as leap seconds. In the past, leap seconds were added to atomic time to keep it in line with solar time. However, negative leap seconds may be required in the future to account for the Earth’s slowing rotation.

The slowing of the Earth’s rotation is mainly due to the melting of glaciers and ice caps caused by global warming. As a result, the distribution of mass on Earth is changing, which in turn affects its rotation. This means that time correction methods may need to adapt to the changing climate in order to maintain accurate timekeeping.

Scientists are continuously monitoring the Earth’s rotation and making adjustments to timekeeping as needed. This is to ensure that time stays consistent and accurate despite the changing conditions on our planet. As climate change continues to impact the Earth, it is important for us all to be aware of how it might affect our daily lives and make necessary adjustments accordingly.

Sophia Reynolds

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