Companies around the world used innovative & interesting solutions to work around timing differences associated with adding an extra second to the official atomic clock.

Leap second: Clocks to read 07:59:60 on Wednesday

The phenomenon, which is implemented every few years, prevents days from getting longer as the Earth’s rotation continually slows down due to factors such as the moon’s gravitational pull and earthquakes. The phenomenon, called a “leap second”, takes place every few years, where an additional second is inserted to the atomic clock, or UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

During the last leap second on Jun 30, 2012, more than 400 Qantas flights were delayed when the airline’s check-in system crashed, while websites such as Reddit, Mozilla and LinkedIn experienced glitches because the systems could not cope with the extra time.  This year, the leap second insertion is especially crucial to Asia as it takes place during working hours, unlike the early Sunday morning three years ago.

“In the past, leap seconds happened during weekends (and) holidays, so people were not working. … This year, (the leap second) is expected to affect more financial sectors because it’s during (trading) time,” said Dr Liu Yan Ying, a metrologist at the National Metrology Centre of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The centre oversees the national measurement standards in Singapore.