Time to Ditch Greenwich Mean Time: Scientists

France-based bureau calls for new system
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2011 7:20 AM CDT
Time to Ditch Greenwich Mean Time in Favor of Atomic Clocks: Scientists
Visitors stand around the Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, Tuesday Dec. 30, 2008.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – Time may be almost up for Greenwich Mean Time. A panel of scientists in France has called for an end to the official measurement, which has been in place for more than a century, the Daily Mail reports. The International Bureau of Weights and Measures says we should depend on atomic clocks instead of looking to London.

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The current system is based on such clocks but adds “leap seconds” in accordance with the rotation of the Earth, as tracked in London’s Greenwich Park. The addition of leap seconds threatens to throw the system into disarray, the Mail notes. Under the proposed new system, which faces a vote in Geneva in January, a “leap minute” would be added once every 50 years. “Britain has lodged the main objections, but they are based on tradition, not science,” says a member of the bureau. (Read more Greenwich Mean Time stories.)

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