This New Year's Eve Lasts an Extra Second Here's a sign of changing times: The time is changing. This New Year's Eve, there will be a leap second. Atomic clocks that keep time around the world will hold back to allow a minute with sixty-one seconds. The adjustment allows for irregularities in the earth's rotation. The adjustment also adds complications for countless computer systems, which is why the U.S. government has been pressing -- so far without success -- to abolish leap seconds in the future.