Boffins say we will soon spend an extra hour in bed as the day becomes 25 hours rather than 24. According to scientists at Durham University and the UK’s Nautical Almanac Office 24 hour clocks will soon become outdated.
However, it looks as if we shouldn’t throw out our alarm clocks just yet as it will be another 200 million years before an extra hour is added to the day. The day is getting longer by just two milliseconds every 100 years so even an extra minute in the day would take 6.7 million years. Who knows what the earth will look like by then and whether humans will even still exist.
Study co-author Leslie Morrison said that while the process was taking place, it was doing so very slowly. She added: “Even though the observations are crude, we can see a consistent discrepancy between the calculations and where and when the eclipses were actually seen.”
She said that study authors had examined historic accounts of astrological events and eclipses from 720BC until last year to come up with their findings. The used data from historical texts and drawings to come up with estimates of how long days have been over previous millennia.
The author said she and her team had examined such artefacts as the Babylonian tablets at the British Museum to come up with their estimates. She said their timings were approximate because geophysical forces operating on the Earth’s rotation would not necessarily be constant.
The scientific observation mirrors the plot of book The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker in which the days become longer and longer because the rotation of the earth is slowing. As daylight and darkness hours become longer and longer, people must decide whether to stick to the 24 hour clock or simply sleep and wake dependent on dawn and sunrise.