[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Tue Feb 8 15:55:30 EST 2011

Warner Losh wrote:

> The current ITU proposal would have the effect of moving the coupling of the Earth's rotation from the time that is broadcast (now called UTC) to the timezones that local governments promulgate.

This would be chaos for anyone needing to compare timestamps in different locales and eras. If a simple table of second-scale adjustments is deemed unacceptable, how about squabbling over timezone policies for many thousands of nations, provinces, states and cities? The point is that the common UTC makes these negligible now, but wouldn't later because it is being demoted to take the place of TAI.

> While not explicitly stated in the proposal something like this would naturally happen every few hundred years.

There is nothing natural about it and whatever plan is developed the ITU should explicitly include massive issues like this in the process.

The ITU has no plan. The ITU has performed nothing that even vaguely resembles due diligence.

> I'd be willing to agree that "Coupling of Civil time to the earth is required."

Great! Consensus!

> Coupling of the successor to UTC isn't required, or at least there's not consensus that it is required.

As there is no consensus that it isn't required...


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