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Abolition of time zones

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Time zones of the world

Various proposals have been made to replace the system of time zones with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as a local time.


For most of history, the position of the sun was used for timekeeping. During the 19th century, most towns kept their own local time. The standardization of time zones started in 1884 in the US.[1]


Arthur C. Clarke proposed the use of a single time zone in 1976.[2] Attempts to abolish time zones date back half a century[1] and include the Swatch Internet Time. Economics professor Steve Hanke and astrophysics professor Dick Henry at Johns Hopkins University have been proponents of the concept and have integrated it in their Hanke–Henry Permanent Calendar.[3][4][5][6]


UTC as a universal time zone is already used by airline operators around the world[7] and other international settings where time coordination is especially critical. This includes military operations, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the International Space Station.[8] Within the United States, some have cited effective international use of UTC in certain industries as evidence that a permanent national time zone would work within the United States, a change the Secretary of Transportation would have the authority to make.[8]


  • The same time is used globally, which removes the requirement of calculations between different zones.
  • Possible health benefits as people who live on the eastern side of a time zone are out of sync with the circadian rhythms.[1][9]


  • The date will change during daylight hours in parts of the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
  • Requires changes in linguistic terminology related to time.
  • Conceptually, time zones would still be in effect as different regions would still carry out activities such as business hours, lunch, school, etc. at different UTC times, essentially trading one system for a tantamount one.

For example, at 08:00 (8 AM), with UTC-0 as a worldwide standard, the sky in the Eastern United States would look how it normally does at 03:00 (3 AM), and in China would look how it does at 16:00 (4 PM). However, in the United Kingdom, the sky would look the exact same as it normally does at 08:00 (8 AM).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Let's Get Rid of Time Zones, Not Just Daylight Savings". Bloomberg L.P. 2021-03-20. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  2. ^ a b Gleick, James (5 November 2016). "Time to Dump Time Zones". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-11-06.
  3. ^ Taylor, Adam. "The radical plan to destroy time zones". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  4. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (11 August 2020). "Is it time to call time on time zones?". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2020-08-11. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  5. ^ Clarke, Laurie (2019-10-28). "What would happen if we abolished time zones altogether?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  6. ^ "Professors say a new calendar would eliminate leap years and save you over $500 a year". CBS News. February 29, 2020. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  7. ^ "The Day Of Two Noons : Planet Money". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  8. ^ a b Deal, Ryan (2021-01-01). "It's Five O'Clock Everywhere: A Framework for the Modernization of Time". Washington University Law Review. 98 (3): 911–936. ISSN 2166-7993.
  9. ^ "This Guy Says Getting Rid of Time Zones Will Improve Everyone's Life". Vice. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 2021-03-30.