Second thoughts on leap seconds

From CNN:

The Royal Astronomical Society on Wednesday called for a public debate on the proposed abolition of leap seconds, a tiny end-of-year adjustment to keep clocks in synch with the earth’s rotation.

The International Telecommunications Union will meet in Geneva in November to debate a proposal to abolish leap seconds after 2007.

Mike Hapgood, secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, said the debate has practical implications for computers, global positioning systems and for those who study phenomena — such as tides — that are related to the earth’s rotation.

There have been 21 leap seconds since they were introduced in 1972, and the next is planned for the end of 2005.