Monday, May 9, 2011

Time Zones

Visiting in Siberia has made it easier to talk to my kids on Skype because of the time difference.  We are 14 hours ahead of Saskatchewan and Alberta and 15 hours ahead of BC.  I can get up in the morning and call them on Skype at home at night. 

Disregarding Daylight Savings Time, Abakan is GMT+7 hours and Regina is GMT-7 hours, which should put them at or near meridians 105 E and 105 W respectively, roughly equidistant from London.  Except they are not.  I looked it up on MapCrow (though there are several other distance calculators) and Regina (6636) is 900 kms farther from London  than Abakan (5735). 

The map below explains the situation.  Click on it and you can read it easily as the jpg is 5 MB. It shows the meridians and their assigned time zones. The actual time zones of various geographic regions are colour coded so you can see where they match the assigned time zones and where they do not.

Most of Russia seems to be one time zone farther east than it actually is geographically.  Abakan and Krasnoyarsk should be GMT+ 6, not GMT+7.  People who have difficulty with DST should try sorting out the time zones of Asia.  China for example covers 4 time zones but sets one time zone (Beijing time) for the country because, as I was told, several time zones is too complicated to understand.  OK...


  1. Makes you wonder how the trains can run in China doesn't it?

  2. Timely comment, Blog Fodder.

    The bit about China is, well, a bit much.

  3. I should think that one time zone would be pretty complicated too as everything would run at different times. For example, a store or agency that opens at 5:00 in one place might not open until 9:00 in another.

  4. Are you able to talk to the kids in the future? Because if so, I've got an idea and a bookie.

  5. Actually in Soviet times, the trains all ran on Moscow time. So when consulting the schedule, you had to be aware of the time difference but it was your problem not the railways.
    Snowbrush, that is exactly how things are in China, especially Xinjian province. Some businesses run on "local" time, others on Bejing time. And in winter, government offices there open a couple hours later eg 10:00 instead of 8:00. It is a mess.

  6. Murr, nope, only in the present. Sir Sanford Fleming only invented times zones not time travel. Darn, huh?


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