[tz] Negative leap seconds in mainstream media

Koning, Paul Paul.Koning at dell.com
Tue Jan 12 14:57:26 UTC 2021

> On Jan 12, 2021, at 9:48 AM, Steve Allen <sla at ucolick.org> wrote:
> On Tue 2021-01-12T14:34:52+0000 Koning, Paul hath writ:
>> Is there any reason to believe that story is more than fiction?
>> "Why Scientists Want to Shorten the Minute to 59 Seconds"
>> https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a35165130/leap-second-shorten-minute-earth-rotation/
> No, but it is a common fiction that has arisen because the content of
> the negotiations that led to the inception of leap seconds was not
> explained.
> At the time of inception no scientist believed that leap seconds were
> the best way to regulate time.  The closest that they could come at
> IAU was to assert that leap seconds were the "optimum solution" while
> redacting all of the arguments and discussion indicating that the
> problem that needed a solution was legal and political, not technical.
> --
> Steve Allen                    <sla at ucolick.org>              WGS-84 (GPS)
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Yes.  The other point, though, is that leap seconds lengthen the day.  In theory we can have omitted seconds, in practice we have not had those.  The article speaks of the days getting shorter.  Is there any data that supports this assertion?


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