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Were you ready for 2016 to end as soon as possible, preferring to see what 2017 brings? Or, was it a banner year and wished it would only last longer? No matter which side of the fence you sit, we all had to wait just a little bit longer to ring in 2017. But, not too much longer. In fact, just one second to be precise. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, a “leap second” was added to the world’s clocks on December 31. The reason? Ocean waves. Tides have a braking effect on the Earth’s rotation and atomic clocks move out of sync, creating the discrepancy. What’s more, these leap seconds have been added to clocks dating back to 1972. “Why all the trouble for just one second?,” you may ask. That’s a fair criticism but, in today’s world, a tiny second can have a huge impact. Digital systems and telecommunications all rely on synced clocks to function appropriately as do satellites for GPS (Global Positioning System). So, we hope all our readers had a healthy and prosperous 2016, extra second and all.

Source: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/190570/20161229/2016-extra-leap-second-longer-because-of-ocean-waves.htm.