We have known Daylight Saving Time (DST) for most of our lives, but now it is a heavily debated topic. The first country to officially adopt DST was Germany in 1916. This was during World War I. The idea was used to minimize the use of artificial lighting and energy to save money and resources during a hard time. Many countries also adopted the idea, but did not continue to practice DST after the war. Years later, during World War II, countries brought the idea back and it dramatically caught on. Now, it remains in practice in more than 70 countries.
In the United States, DST has been revised and altered over the years. The latest revision came into play in 2007. This act extended the DST interval to begin the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.
Forty-eight of the 50 states practice DST, excluding Hawaii and Arizona. While a majority of the states do participate, 19 of them have tried to create legislation to either end DST or make it permanent year-round. None of them have been successful yet.
If most states did NOT practice DST, meaning observing standard time year-round, we would never “spring forward” in March. This means that the spring, summer and early fall months would have one hour less of daylight in the evening, and an extra hour in the morning. This does not change the amount of daylight in a day, just the time we would experience it. Winter would not have any changes as DST has already ended at that point.
What about if we used DST all year? This would entail “springing forward” once and then never “falling back.” This scenario would give us an extra hour of evening sun year-round. However, the sun would rise an hour later in the winter, making for a dark start to the day. Eight months out of the year would remain the same for states that already use DST. The winter would have the biggest changes.
If we used standard time year-round, the sunrise and sunset on the winter solstice (day with the least amount of daylight in the year) would be the same as DST does not influence the winter currently. A 7:40 AM sunrise and a 5:14 PM sunset in Wichita would, however, change if we were in DST all year. This would give us a 8:40 AM sunrise which makes for a dark morning. However, the evening would gain an extra hour of daylight for a 6:14 PM sunset.
The Summer Solstice is the day with the most amount of daylight in a year. If we did not observe DST at all, this would allow for an early sunrise at 5:07 AM and an earlier summer sunset at 7:54 PM compared to a normal summer with a 6:07 AM sunrise and 8:54 sunset. Essentially, no DST means a standard winter with an earlier sunrise and earlier sunset in the spring, summer and fall.
Sunrise and sunset times for Goodland are listed below. The same scenarios are played out here for the winter and summer solstices with and without DST.
-Meteorologist Warren Sears