The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 1, 2013

Time to turn back clocks


TARBORO — It’s time to “fall back,” as the annual end to daylight saving time and the return to standard time occurs this weekend, as we will set the clocks back an hour on Saturday night.

The exact time is 2 a.m. Sunday. At that point, clocks will turn back to 1 a.m.

This will mean earlier sunrises and earlier sunsets. Here’s the sunrise and sunset on the day before and after the time change:

• Saturday, Nov. 2: Sunrise 6:07 a.m., Sunset 5:11 p.m. (EDT)

        • Sunday, Nov. 3: Sunrise 5:08 a.m. Sunset 6:12 p.m. (EST)

Daylight saving time is the practice of advancing clocks during the lighter months so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.

The modern idea of daylight saving was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson and it was first implemented by Austria-Hungary starting on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then. Much of the United States used DST in the 1950s and 1960s, and DST use expanded following the 1970s energy crisis. It has been widely used in North America and Europe since then.

The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours.  but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun (such as farming) or to darkness (such as drive-in theatres). Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

DST clock shifts present other challenges. They complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment and sleep patterns. Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when DST dates are changed.

Daylight saving time returns on Sunday, March 9, 2014