WHAT IS DAYLIGHT SAVINGS?
Daylight Saving is a mechanism of adjusting the time of the clock against the natural movement of the sun, in order to increase the available sunlight in the evening. This effect is offset by a decrease of the underutilised sunlight that occurs in the morning.
At the start of the Daylight Saving period in spring, the time of the clock is moved forward one hour at 2am, thus the time of the clock becomes 3am. At the end of the Daylight Saving period in autumn the reverse happens, with the time of the clock at 3am moved back one hour to become 2am. Most people are asleep at the official point in time of change and normally adjust their clocks before going to bed, or upon waking up the next morning.
The net effect of the time of the clock movement is that during the Daylight Saving period, sunrise and sunset is adjusted forward by one hour. Reallocating the underutilised hour of sunlight from the early morning, provides for an extra hour of daylight in the evening.
Currently sunrise in South East Queensland during Summer, can be as early as 4:45am, with the ambient light effect of twilight occurring around 4:15am. The latest sunset occurs is around 7pm. Implementing Daylight Saving in the South East region, would result in the earliest morning twilight effect occurring around 5:15am, and allow sunsets to occur as late as 8pm.
NOTHING ELSE CHANGES!!
During the month’s of Daylight Saving, no time commitments are changed and there are no requirements to get up at a different time. If an individual starts work at 8.30am, they will still commence work at 8.30am. For someone who retires to bed at 10pm, they will still go to bed at that time. People who require 8 hours sleep a night, will still enjoy 8 hours sleep.
The consequence is that the sun is at a different point in the sky, thus providing more daylight in the evening and a later commencement of daylight in the morning, hence the term ‘Daylight Saving Time’. The term is a slight misnomer, as there is no real saving, but, instead, the available daylight is simply ‘shifted’ to an hour later in the day, against the time of the clock.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
There are a LOT of popular and vastly incorrect statements made about Daylight Saving – of course we have all heard of the “faded curtains” and “confused cows”. Hopefully the following observations will dispel some of these myths.
Why mess with ‘Mother Nature’ or ‘God’s Time’?
Daylight Saving doesn’t mess with ‘Mother Nature’, as it does not change any natural occurring events – it is simply adjusting the time of the clock in relation to the solar movement. Time, as mankind measures it, is already based upon arbitrary time zones. Before the adoption of time zones, the use of local solar time was the means of measuring ‘time’. Therefore one could argue that Daylight Saving is actually ‘correcting’ the arbitrary time zone, to coincide with the relative solar movement during the daylight saving time period.
Daylight Saving creates an hour more sunlight in the day, and makes it hotter?
As mentioned above, it does not change any natural occurring events, and therefore has no affect on the amount of sunlight during a day, or for that matter, the temperature.
The kids will have to go to school earlier/they will go to school in the dark?
Incorrect! School times stay the same. Whatever time children were going to school, or catching a bus, will still be the same. The sunrise times in South East Queensland are well before the children are off to school, so there is no chance of them having to go to school in the dark.
The children will be coming home from school in a hotter part of the day?
Currently, in South East Queensland, during the summer months, school children are exposed to about the same levels of Ultra Violet (UV) rays on their way to school as they are when they return from school. Daylight Saving would actually decrease the level of UV exposure in the mornings and slightly increase the exposure on the return from school. Therefore, whilst the statement in isolation may be true, the net effect of the increase in UV exposure in the afternoon is offset by the reduced amount of exposure in the morning.
Isn’t there more strain on air-conditioners that are turned on for an extra hour?
A recent study in Western Australia showed that during the daylight saving period, there was a negligible increase in power usage, due mainly to the of air conditioners in households. However, the findings noted the small increase was only on days when the temperature was above 30 degrees, but when the temperature was below 30, usage actually decreased. In South East Queensland, the temperature raises above 30 degrees for only about 45 days – that’s less than a third of the daylight saving six month period. Not only that, in W.A. 82% of households have air-conditioners, and in comparison, around 60% of households in South East Queensland have air-conditioners. Therefore if Daylight Saving was adopted in South East Queensland only, power usage could possibly increase marginally for around 45 days, but would most likely decrease for the other four and a half months. This would provide an overall decrease in electricity usage and reduce carbon emissions – wouldn’t that be great for the environment!
Given the climate of the South East region and additional daylight that would be provided in the evening, it’s probably fair to assume that a number of people won’t necessarily be spending that time in their homes.