For people ready to make 2008 a memory, their wish will be postponed by exactly one second.
The U.S. Naval Observatory will add a leap second before the clock strikes 2009. The time adjustment is being made to account for the slightest deceleration of the Earth’s rotation on its axis.
Ocean waves sloshing back and forth create a friction or drag on the rotation of the planet. In fact, tidal forces have slowed the Earth to such an extent that days were actually two hours shorter in dinosaur times.
Subtracting or adding seconds to official timekeeping is a decision made by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.