A Leap Second Will Be Added December 31, 2016
Because Earth is slowing down, we will synchronize our clocks by adding a leap second just before we enter 2017.
In Washington DC, the previous leap second occurred on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 6:59:60 pm.
UTC time was December 31, 2016 at 23:59:60.
Earth Is Slowing Down
Every 6 months, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) in Paris, France announces whether a leap second needs to be added based on how much Earth's rotation speed has changed.
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Added to UTC and Local Times
Leap seconds are added to UTC, which means that only areas which follow UTC/GMT will have the leap second added to their last minute of 2016. These areas are: The United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Morocco, and Ghana.
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Up for Debate
Removing leap seconds has been proposed on several occasions, and would mean a major change of our global timekeeping system.