[ntp:questions] Re: Deadline soon for leap second comments

mike michael.no.spam.cook at wanadoo.fr
Sun Oct 9 20:54:11 UTC 2005


<snip> all that is gold...

Thanks for the excellent and comprehensive documentation. I haven't
trawled it all , but it seems to me that common sense should prevail.
" If it isn't broke, don't fix it!"

 From the history of time measurement, we can see that the modifidations 
that have been made in recent times, definitions of UT0, UT1 etc, have 
been made to give better numerical approximations to a continuing and 
non predictable variation in the earths rotation. It should be also 
evident that however close we get to understanding the causes and 
amplitudes of these variations, the butterfly will be one step ahead.

  The application of leap seconds allows these changes to be reflected in
a timespan which is comprehensible by humans. All the mechanisms to 
measure and agree on any neccessary modifications are already in place 
and the SIZE of the change is not perceptible by humans and so doesn't 
perturb them. Whereas, adding/subtracting hours on a xxx year cycle is 
essentially revolutionary rather than evolutionary. Abandoning the 
current practice will leave any future modifications to the whim  of the 
wind and political expediancy.

  Note also that human interaction with the earth may be having an 
impact that will soon be detecatable in tha earths rotation and I may 
accelerate those changes. I am thinking of the displacement of water 
mass with climate change.

  I am an optimist by heart, but I expect that if our activity changes 
our climate to the extent that seems to be likely, at least leap seconds 
will allow us to time our demise with better precision.




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