Have you noticed we're moving faster? Prepare to go back in time.
According to the Daily Mail, the leading timekeepers of the world are "debating whether to delete a second from time to account for the change, and bring the precise passing of time back into line with the rotation of the Earth."
"The 28 fastest days on record (since 1960) all occurred in 2020, with Earth completing its revolutions around its axis milliseconds quicker than average," writes Live Science.
Over the course of time, the Earth's rotation has varied slightly. We remember from grade school that it takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate on its axis. In 2020, the Earth's rotation varied plus or minus 1.5 milliseconds. Each 24-hour day is made up of 86,400 seconds.
While that's not a lot of time at all, scientists are watching the situation closely and might call for a "negative leap second," where official timeclocks would be reset by removing a full second.
The difference in time is not alarming. The Earth's rotation is constantly (and slightly) changing, dependent on atmospheric pressure, ocean currents, movement of the core, and winds. Though the difference does cause challenges for international timekeepers.
This isn't the first time the atomic time has been adjusted. Since 1972, a second has been added to the atomic time about every 1.5 years, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Adjustments need to be made occasionally to bring astronomical time and atomic time back in line.
"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," physicist Peter Whibberley of the National Physics Laboratory in the U.K., told The Telegraph.
For years, the Earth's rotation has taken slightly longer than 24 hours per day. Now, this trend has changed with the rotation not taking quite as long.
If you could go back in time (even for just a hot second), where would you go or what would you do? Share in the comments below.