The next step might be simply moving to atomic time
, "a disassociation of civil time from solar time altogether.
If leap seconds were abandoned, noon atomic time
might eventually correspond to sunset on Earth.
At a meeting of the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva next week, representatives from 190 countries will gather to vote on whether or not to stop using this system and align ourselves strictly with atomic time
Leap seconds were introduced in the early 1970s to occasionally correct for those variations between solar and atomic time
These national standards are averaged to produce International Atomic Time
and Universal Coordinated Time, which are used as time scales worldwide for such critical processes as global communications, satellite navigation and surveying, and time stamping for the computerized transactions of financial and stock markets.
Without leap seconds, the difference between atomic time
and rotation-based time would separate by 1 second every 500 days.
In 1970, an international agreement established two timescales: one based on the rotation of the earth and one based on atomic time