TAI zone?

Russ Allbery rra at stanford.edu
Fri Jul 1 02:36:10 UTC 2011

Paul Koning <paul_koning at Dell.com> writes:
> On Jun 29, 2011, at 8:57 PM, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> The alternative proposal is that leap seconds be declared twenty years
>> in advance ...

> Is that actually possible?

Well, sure, provided that we're okay with twenty years of drift.  It
increases the divergence between UTC and the physical phenomenon that it's
intended to mirror, of course, but it bounds that divergence at about
thirty or forty years worth of divergence (assuming that we'll continue to
use the current low rate of changes) instead of six to twelve months of
divergence.  Given the low rate of divergence currently, this doesn't seem
like a big deal.  Having noon be 20 seconds, or even a minute, off true
value doesn't seem like it would be too horrible.  Or at least the article
in ACM was fairly convincing.

And of course if our ability to predict the divergence gets better, we
could become more accurate at predicting what leap seconds we'll need,
which will reduce the divergence.

Russ Allbery (rra at stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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