-> 2011 -> Double Summertime for Islay?

Diciadain, 23/Feb/2011

Double Summertime for Islay?

On Monday I came across a report on the BBC website Who, what, why: What difference would double summertime make to you? In short, there are proposals to permanently move the clocks forward by an hour, which in turn would mean during the summer the clocks would in effect be turned forward by two hours (GMT/UTC+1 in winter, GMT/UTC+2 in summer). While the report lists a few places it doesn't cover Islay, so I thought I'll do some checking:

Composite screenshots showing the twilight, sunrise and sunset times on Islay

To get an idea of the twilight, sunrise and sunrise times at various times of the year for Islay I started the (quite fantastic) The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE), set the location to the Bowmore/Bridgend area (as it is pretty much in the centre of Islay) and picked a few dates through the year. I picked today (easiest to understand), 21/Jun (summer solstice), 31/Aug (late summer), 1/Nov (very late autumn) and 21/Dec (winter solstice). Now the times shown in the results are for 2011 under the current rules (GMT for Feb, Nov & Dec; BST for Jun & Aug), to get to the times under the proposal you need to add an hour. The times given under Civil, Nautical and Astron' refer to the times for the various stages of twilight. If I read this right the sun doesn't go down far enough on 21/Jun for nautical and astronomical twilight.

Using the above table, what would a move to CET/CEST mean for Islay? Certainly between 1/Nov and 23/Feb sunrise will be 8:30 or later, at its worst at 9:52. Yes, sunrise just before 10:00 in December. On the other hand sunset won't be until gone 21:00 during large parts of the summer, at its height gone 23:00. So at least in theory tourists could still go out in daylight after dinner. Those needing to go to bed earlier for an early start need to get good curtains. Sunrise towards the end of August would be at roughly the same time as today in February under current rules. Good for those who like to sleep a bit longer.

I personally think this is a stupid idea with very little to no benefit to me. While not as bad as on Islay even living in Aldermaston Wharf I wouldn't like it. I typically get up at 6:00 for my morning run, leave for work just before 8:00 and leave the office earliest at 17:00, more likely 18:00. Aim to go to bed by 23:00. While currently I get at least some daylight in the mornings under a changed time I would drive to work in the dark and still leave in the dark as sunset isn't pushed back far enough for still quite a large part of winter. The later sunset in the summer wouldn't help me that much either, as I still need to get to bed at the same time. At the height of summer it would still be light when I get to bed. No, I really don't see the huge benefit.

What about you?

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