When does Daylight Saving Time begin in 2021? All about the controversial event and when to change clocks
People across the USA are gearing up to re-adjust their daily schedules as time will 'spring forward' for one hour from the next weekend. And consequently, there will be a loss of one hour of sleep every night for all Americans.
Contrary to some Reddit conspiracy theories suggesting there will be increased crime rates with the time change, the 'time change' phenomenon is rather a simple annual occurrence — called Daylight Saving Time or Daylight Savings Time. Also termed as 'Summer Time' or 'Spring Forward', the rule for DST mandates clocks to be turned forward one hour. When the duration of Daylight Saving Time ends in November, the clocks are turned backward for one hour.
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When does Daylight Saving Time start in 2021?
Daylight Saving Time 2021 will start in the USA from Sunday, March 14, 2021, and will end on November 7, 2021. At 2 am on March 14, clocks will be turned forward to 3 am local daylight time.
Due to this transitional change in time, on March 14, sunrise and sunset timings will be 1 hour later than the day before, and subsequently, there will be more light hours in the evening. For example, in New Jersey, the sun will set at around 6:30 pm on March 13, and on March 14, the sunset will be at 7:04 pm after DST adjustment. Similarly, sunrise will be at 6:12 am on March 13 and 7:10 am on March 14, reports nj.com.
The Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 7, 2021, when clocks at 2 am will be turned backward by one hour to 1 am as per the local standard time. This in turn will change the sunrise and sunset times to one hour earlier than the day before, and the morning hours will have more light.
What is the need for Daylight Saving Time?
Every year, as per the Earth's revolution, the duration of daylight starts increasing in winter from the day of the winter solstice on December 21. Each subsequent day has around two-and-a-half minutes of extra daylight than the day before. The official change in time is initiated with the start of the Daylight Saving Time.
Historically, Daylight Saving Time was first introduced in 1895 by New Zealand-based astronomer and entomologist George Hudson. He faced difficulties in his research due to the fewer daylight hours in the summertime, which prompted him to arrive at the idea. He thought that shifting the clocks forward by two hours in summer and back by two hours in winter, will help make better use of daylight.
Alternately, English architect William Willet is also credited by some for proposing the idea of DST in 1907. Both Hudson's and Willet's proposal was initially ridiculed in the scientific society but later adopted by the US and European countries. In America also, most states follow the DST except Arizona, Hawaii, and regions like Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Controversy around Daylight Saving Time
There has been a longstanding debate around the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time in the USA. There are commonly believed positive aspects which include longer afternoon schedules, lesser use of artificial lights, and a decrease in crimes like robberies or fewer road accidents.
However, there are quite a lot of drawbacks of Daylight Saving Time. Contrary to popular notion, DST actually does not save energy, especially with the increased dependency on power in modern society. The abrupt change in the daily schedule every year often ends up making people sick due to the disruption of body clocks and circadian rhythm. In fact, studies have linked the occurrence of car accidents, workplace injuries, miscarriages, and suicides to the change in DST.
Also, the collective tiredness of the people caused by DST leads to a decline in productivity that results in economic loss for the government.
Lawmakers from Michigan have now proposed a new bill asking for the abolition of Daylight Saving Time, citing the economic problems caused by the phenomenon. However, the bill can only be approved if Michigan's neighboring states Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania also choose to do away with DST.