As world preps for ‘leap second’ on June 30, Google says it’s ready

Search giant Google says that its systems are ready for the ‘leap second’ that the world will experience on June 30, 2015.

Described as a sort of tiny leap year, a leap second lets the earth’s rotation catch up with atomic time, according to the Times of India.

June’s will be the 26th recorded leap second, and the third since Google was founded in 1998. “By convention, leap seconds happen at the end of either June or December,” the search giant explained in a blog post. “However, unlike leap years, leap seconds do not happen at regular intervals, because the Earth's rotation speed varies irregularly in response to climatic and geological events.”

The Telegraph reports that software companies are bracing themselves for leap second glitches, citing a number of crashes when one last occurred in 2012, as well problems with the Linux operating system and Java programs.

Google, however, says that it has a clever way of handling leap seconds. “Instead of repeating a second, we ‘smear’ away the extra second,” it explained, in its blog post.

During a 20-hour “smear window” centered on the leap second, the tech titan slightly slows all of its servers’ system clocks. “At the end of the smear window, the entire leap second has been added, and we are back in sync with civil time,” it added.