Tempus Fugit and Transition to Winter Time:|
Time change has not spared even the most remotest of lands - Antarctica.
(30 weeks of "Summer" for Europe and Russia in 2008 and 34 weeks of Summer Time for USA and Canada)
As roughly 70 countries around the globe approach the annual transition from Daylight Saving Time (DST- Summer Time) to the Winter time (Standard Time) in Europe, the U.S. and other countries of the Northern Hemisphere (Russia, Canada, Mexico) , others face the reverse transition to Daylight Saving Time (DST- Summer time) in the southern hemisphere (Australia, Brazil, Chile),
For many countries, exceptions from the rules have, rather, become the rule.
Europe and Russia transition to winter time on October 28, 2007, while the U.S. and Canada will shift to winter time from Daylight Saving Time (DST) on November 4, 2007, a full week later.
On October 28, 2007, at 1:00 a.m. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), all clocks in Europe, except Iceland, will simultaneously revert to winter (standard) time.
London and Lisbon will transition to winter time at 2:00 a.m. local time; Paris, Berlin and Rome will change at 3:00 a.m. local time, followed by Istanbul, Athens and Helsinki at 4:00 a.m. local time.
People within these time zones are advised to move their clocks one hour back before going to sleep on the night of October 27, 2007.
The transition from DST to winter time was pushed out by a week, from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November, for both the U.S. and Canada. During the week of October 28, 2007 to November 4, 2007, the time difference between London and New York will be four hours rather the usual five.
With its 11 time zones, Russia will usher in winter time on October 28, 2007. However, there is a unique difference from the European transition in that all regions of Russia will turn their clocks back at 3:00 a.m. local time. This means that when the far eastern regions of Kamchatka and Chukotka begin to switch their clocks back to winter time, the Russian capital of Moscow will remain in summer time, reverting to winter time nine hours later.
Summer time in Europe/Russia typically lasts 30 or 31 weeks. For four consecutive years, from 2004 to 2007, summer time (DST) rolled back after 31 weeks. Under the existing rules of the transition from summer to winter time, in 2008 and 2009, summer time will extend for only 30 weeks for Europe and Russia. Previously in this decade, 2002 and 2003 were also years when there were 30 weeks of summer.
See link "Number of weeks of Summer Time (DST) for Europe and Russia, 2000-2009"
In 2007, the United States and Canada extended the duration of the summer period from the usual 29 or 30 weeks to 34 weeks. In the spring of 2007, the United States and Canada began to switch to DST three weeks earlier than usual - from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March.
See link "Number of weeks of DST for USA and Canada, 2000-2009"
Until recently, Mexico had always tuned its time to switch to DST in synchronicity with its northern neighbors in the U.S. and Canada. This year Mexico decided not to extend daylight saving time to 34 weeks, instead staying with the more traditional 30 weeks of summer (April 1 to October 28).
During that ill-timed last week of summer in the U.S. and Canada (October 28 - November 4), the traditional time differences between the U.S. and Mexico, and the U.S. and Europe, will not be observed. This discrepancy will therefore provide confusion surrounding time differences during the extended transition period.
Countries of the Southern Hemisphere have responded to the Northern Hemisphere changes in a similar fashion.
This year, much of Australia will move to summer time on October 28, the same day when Europe and Russia are moving to winter time. However, it is not without its own controversy; in Australia, widespread opinion whether to introduce summer time - for select states - and how to regulate the duration is a struggle between public opinion, business and government.
A perfect example incorporates the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia. All have agreed that next year they will join Tasmania, increasing the length of summer time from 21 or 22 weeks to 26 weeks.
See link "Number of weeks of Summer Time (DST) for Australia, 2000-2009"
As in the past, this year Tasmania moved alone to DST (Summer Time) on October 7, 2007, three weeks ahead of the rest of the Australian states.
See link "Number of weeks of Summer Time (DST) for Tasmania, 2000-2009"
In the Southeast corner of Queensland, residents are divided as to whether or not to introduce summer time to the border region with the state of New South Wales. Near this border where DST is traditionally observed, Queensland wants to introduce summer time. This action would risk dividing the state into two separate time zones if the remaining half of the state does not want summer time.
There is no official communication indicating that summer time will be introduced in Queensland. However, some border businesses want to introduce their own private version of DST by using flexible work hours to begin the work day earlier, around 7:00 a.m. local time in Queensland, to support work with Sydney clients, who operate on Sydney time, equivalent to an hour later or 8:00 a.m.
The state of Western Australia had introduced a three-year trial period of the summer time, and there is no lack of criticism. In some rural areas, local residents are demonstrating a kind of civil disobedience by ignoring daylight saving altogether.
This year New Zealand also extended the summer time from 23 or 24 weeks to 27 weeks, and it shifted to summer time on September 30, 2007.
See link "Number of weeks of Summer Time (DST) for New Zealand, 2000-2009"
Changing to summer time has not spared even some bases in Antarctica: While some Antarctic stations don't even bother to keep their own time zone - those which enjoy 24 hours of sun in summer and keep their clocks by Greenwich Time or their country of origin, others like Amundsen-Scott station (South Pole) (USA), McMurdo (USA) and Scott Base (New Zealand) have extended summer time from 24 to 27 weeks, which is linked to their dependence on the main supply base in New Zealand.
On October 14, 2007, 11 states in Brazil or about half of the country moved to summer time. Since summer ends on February 17, 2008, the duration of the Brazilian summer is short at about 18 weeks, considerably less than the length of summer time in the countries of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia/New Zealand.
The big picture of seasonal time changes is impacting the annual transition of time. Changes are becoming less coordinated and growing more complicated and fragmented. Many countries continue to deal with time changes in a way that best suits their own national interests disregarding neighboring regions.
New Zealand and Australia, which are located in relatively the same region of the world, do not appear to have made any overtures to attempt a synchronized, unified approach to the application of summer time. Upon considering that each country has to battle newly proposed changes with its own countrymen, one wouldn't expect this issue to go on internationally.
Intra-country issues still prevail over the international impact of time changes, and result in widespread confusion in the flight scheduling and international communications.
Some encouraging examples of accord when it comes to the politics of time are exhibited by South Korea and Japan. The two countries are considering the introduction of summer time and have arranged a coordination committee. While neither country has established a summer time, it is expected that the transition to DST will be eventually implemented under coordinated rules.
This is not the end of the story on the rules and changes of summer and winter time in 2007-2008. Despite many years of experience in the transition to winter/summer time in different parts of the world, existing regulations cannot be considered final, and a lot of coordination work remains.
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