Why One Minute Might Soon Be Reduced To 59 Seconds

Why One minute might soon be reduced to 59 seconds?

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The 21st century is the era of people who are either running out of time or might claim to have plenty. But in either case, the saying that time stops for no one is valid. Even every minute is very important. Time has a different role to play in every individual’s life. Some people try to set their clock 10 minutes ahead of time and some 10 minutes behind to get their work done accordingly. This way time directs the whole day of an individual.

Every second of the day might not catch people’s attention unless in an examination hall but from second to nanosecond exhibits a lot of significance for scientists. The year 2020 marked several days that were shorter than the average of 24 hours. Therefore scientists are suggesting to shorten 1 minute by 59 seconds.

Why is this happening? 

one minute soon to be reduced to 59 seconds

Is the Earth’s rotation faster than usual?

According to Global time officials, it has been observed that the Earth’s rotation is now speeding up. As per the reports, the 24 hours daily rotation is decreasing incrementally.  2020 beat 2005’s shortest day by 28 times with an average daily deficit of 0.5 milliseconds.  2021 is expected to be around 19 milliseconds short of a typical year.  The astronomical calendar patterns suggest these changes in recent years are occurring due to natural terrestrial and celestial alterations. The length of a day has varied throughout the year 2020. Each day completes in 86,400 seconds however a difference of some milliseconds has been noted in these seconds. 

“It is certainly correct that the Earth is spinning faster now than at any time in the last 50 years,” Peter Whibberley, a senior research scientist with the National Physical Laboratory time and frequency group told in an interview.

time earth seconds

What is the role of the leap seconds?

When a second is added to the atomic scale of the estimated time to bring it in the line with solar time, it is called a “Leap Second”. The leap second has been added about 27 times to synchronize with the slowing rotation.  In 2012, When a leap second was added many server crashes were faced by sites like Linkedin, Yelp, and Reddit. Also, Javascript and the operating system like Linux suffered disturbances.

This happened due to the necessary timekeeping by the programming languages and the computer’s primitive clock hardware. When the computer clock suddenly has to believe that it’s 01:00:00 for the consecutive second. Then data moves at a rate of millions or billions of bytes per second through the CPU, which creates the utmost conflict. The last leap second was added in 2016.

The role of the negative leap second in the universal timings.

Now, the searches found that the Earth is rotating faster, a “negative leap second” might be introduced into our lives. It is expected to bring Earth’s time in equilibrium with that of the rest of the universe. 

“It’s quite possible that a negative leap second will be needed if the Earth’s rotation rate increases further, but it’s too early to say if this is likely to happen,” Whibberley said. He also added that an “International discussion about the future of leap seconds would determine whether timekeepers continue their attempts to make up for the lost time.”

Who is in charge of adding the leap second?

Paris based, The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, is charged to take the decisions regarding the leap seconds updates across different countries of the globe. However, the past chaos in the system is proving that the decision might create perplexion in the dynamics of the Earth rather than doing any good.


The fractional differences in a minute might not be seen as a big deal at the individual level. But the bigger picture could show the impacts in the world of science and technology that are gradually becoming the spine of the world dynamics. Therefore, the timing on Earth relies on a balance with the cosmos.

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