Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a common practice in some parts of the world, especially North America and Europe whereby clocks are set forward during summer and backward in fall to properly utilize the natural daylight. The clocks are set either one hour forward or backward from the standard time, meaning that one day in late winter or early spring has 23 hours and one day in fall has 25 hours. The phrase “spring forward, fall back” is commonly used to remember which way to set the clock. The idea of daylight saving was proposed by George Hudson in 1895 and was first implemented countrywide in Germany in 1916.
Why Is DST Used?
Most countries around the world follow a clock-based schedule for their daily activities throughout the year. For instance, there is a set time for school or work as well as the arrival and departure of a mass transit system. However, some activities and daily routines depend on the length of daylight hours which change from time to time because of the tilting of the Earth on its axis. As a result, summer in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere tend to have longer days and shorter nights. Therefore, countries in either of the tropics would want to make better use of the natural daylight.
By setting clocks forward one hour from standard time, people in such areas will wake up one hour earlier than they would during the standard time and will begin their activities an hour earlier. They will also have an extra hour at the end of their workday. However, they will lose an hour of daylight every day at the start of the day. Proponents of DST argue that it benefits to have an extra hour of daylight after a workday.
Which Countries Use DST?
DST is not that popular as it is used by less than 40% of the countries in the world. Some countries used it previously but not anymore and only a few places in other countries observe it. DST is generally not observed in Africa and Asia. It is mainly observed in some parts of North America, South America, Europe, and New Zealand. Today, about 70 countries observe DST in at least parts of the country. In March 2019, the EU resolved to permanently remove the DST from the EU. The region has until April 2020 to decide whether to permanently remain on “Summer Time” or change the clock one more time to permanent standard time.
When Will The Clocks Change In 2020?
In the United States, the Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 am on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November at the same time. In 2020, DST will begin on March 8 and end on November 1 in the US. However, each time zone will switch at different times. In the EU, the Summer Time starts and ends at 1:00 am GMT. This means Summer Time begins on the last Sunday of March and runs through to the last Sunday of October. In 2020, the EU will begin its DST on March 29 and revert to Standard Time on October 25.