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Your New Year's Eve just got one second longer

The addition of a "leap second" will bring clocks back into sync.

Daniel Terdiman/CNET

2016 will be a bit longer, thanks to the addition of a "leap second."

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, the global standards body in charge of making sure that time on our clocks is accurate to the microsecond, said on Wednesday that a leap second will be added to the end of this year.

On December 31, 2016, the clock will show 11:59:60 before it flips over to midnight. This means your New Year's Eve celebration will run just a bit, or rather just a second, longer.

However, a leap second is nothing new. Last year, the IERS added one to June 30, 2015. Leap seconds can be added at the end of December or June to correct minor desynchronizations between Universal Time, which is defined by the Earth's rotation, and International Atomic Time, which is the weighted average of about 200 atomic clocks in laboratories around the globe.

The IERS announces leap seconds six months ahead of its occurrence, partly to give a heads-up to the world's software and device makers to plan patches and updates accordingly.

(Via New Scientist)