[LEAPSECS] [Non-DoD Source] midyear leap roundup

Matsakis, Demetrios demetrios.matsakis at usno.navy.mil
Sat Jul 2 15:45:42 EDT 2016

I'm surprised nobody reacted to some of the things in Steve's email.  It's probably because 8 years is a long time (7 now).

With regards to the last paragraph, the support for Steve's inference seems rather weak.   I feel an obligation to point out that as far as I have seen my employer, the U.S. Government, isn't the kind to "hold grudges" on these matters .  I suggest that with regards to the governments that supported Method D (more study), the U.S. State Department might be more interested in working with them on the War on Terror than in holding a grudge on a moot point. 

Also, the US position was to support Method A, not to abolish leap seconds immediately.    If it had been accepted as-is at WRC-15, there would have been a little over five year's notice.  However the WRC could have made it longer if it so desired.

-----Original Message-----
From: LEAPSECS [mailto:leapsecs-bounces at leapsecond.com] On Behalf Of Steve Allen
Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2016 12:52 AM
To: Leap Second Discussion List
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] [LEAPSECS] midyear leap roundup

Last week saw the Science of Time symposium at Harvard with many of the Time Lords in attendance.  The subject matter was far broader than just leap seconds, but it gave a glimpse into the situation after last year's ITU-R WRC-15 meeting.

For 15 years the subject of leap seconds had been ITU-R Question 236/7, and that is no longer open.  So the ITU-R has no action to perform until the 2023 WRC.  Folks at Science of Time indicated that actions other than in the ITU-R had to wait until that process had failed.

In the mean time the BIPM expects to produce a document that (unlike ITU-R TF.460) actually defines the construction of a time scale.  It makes sense that we should be able to see that years in advance of the
2023 WRC.

Looking back, leading up to the WRC had been various Conference Preparatory Meetings (CPM) that produced the draft document with the methods for dealing with leap seconds (A, B, C, and, much later, D) to be submitted to WRC-15.  During a several month period leading up to that document the logs for leap second web pages showed a two-week periodicity with thousands of HTTP GETs being funnelled through a weblog hosted on a server accessible via a VPN.  That seemed to confirm that the ITU-R process operates in a very closed fashion.  We can hope that from now on the process will be more open.

Subsequent to the WRC-15 meeting the web logs have indicated etentes between the US and the countries who submitted method D (which said "make no change") to the WRC-15.  I surmise that the Department of State holds a grudge against any country which dared to oppose the "abolish leap seconds immediately" position of the US.

Steve Allen                    <sla at ucolick.org>              WGS-84 (GPS)
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