Don’t forget to turn back your clocks tomorrow

ClockPhoto: Ocean Ng / Unsplash
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Since this spring, clocks have been set one hour ahead. At 3 o’clock on Sunday, we’re getting one hour back and moving to normal time.

Darker and colder times are approaching. 

When we set the clock back tomorrow, it will be brighter in the morning and darker in the afternoon compared to the summer time.

However, the current time scheme that includes summer time and normal time could be phased out within a few years. 

In 2019, the European Commission supported a proposal to abolish summer time but the Council has not yet adopted the proposal presented by the European Commission. 

However, should it be adopted, it is up to each individual country to decide whether it should use summer time or winter time as normal time. 

That could lead to increased time differences in Europe.

Today, more than 70 countries use summer time, i.e., less than 40%of the world’s countries. 

Among Norway’s neighboring countries, this applies to Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, while Iceland and Russia do not have summer time.

Changes over the years

In the last 100 years, summer time has been introduced and phased out many times in Norway.

Summer time was first introduced in Norway in 1916. 

The scheme was further resumed from 1940–1945 and 1959–1965, and it was reintroduced in 1980.

The dates for the introduction of summer time were also changed in 1996 so that the Norwegian shift occurred at the same time as in other European countries.

The scheme has been controversial. The reason for setting the clock in the spring was originally to get longer and brighter evenings in the summer, in addition to saving energy. 

Some countries introduced summer time during the First World War to save coal, but recent studies show that today one saves very little electricity by having summer time.

Another purpose is to make better use of daylight during the period of the day you are normally awake.

More and more against summer time

An argument against moving the clock is, among other things, that animals have built-in clocks and that the farmers must therefore spend time on the transition. 

Thus, farmers believe the best solution would be to phase out summer time.

Another argument is that several studies have shown that cutting one hour of sleep in the spring when we go into summer time can have adverse effects on health.

In 2018, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) arranged an informal digital survey about summer time. 

In the survey, which received over 50,000 responses, nine out of ten answered that they wanted normal time all year round or have summer time as normal time.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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