One Man's Alaska

Alaska daylight savings time change (2010)

November 6, 2010

Alaska question of the week: Does Alaska observe daylight savings time? If so, when do we change our clocks in 2010?

Answer: Yes, Alaska does observe daylight savings time. In 2010 we switch the clocks back one hour with the daylight savings change on November 7, 2010. Being good Alaskans, at 2 a.m. on November 7th we all get up, switch our clocks back to 1 a.m., and go back to bed. :)

As for whether it makes sense to observe daylight saving time in Alaska, here's a great quote from this article:

Prior to 1983 the great state of Alaska spanned four time zones. The continental United States spans four time zones.  Use of four time zones allows the noon hour to coincide with the highest position of the Sun as it crosses Alaska.

And here's a second great quote from that Alaska daylight savings time article:

Has any government agency or business in Alaska praised the use of Daylight Saving Time for saving energy?

In his book about the history of Daylight Saving Time, David Prerau writes about a taunt that was used by early critics of Daylight Saving Time. Critics suggested that to save energy the government declare that all thermometers be changed to show water freezing at 45 degrees instead of 32 degrees. This would save coal because people could set the thermostat at 70 degrees and would certainly not miss 13 degrees.

Or maybe we could lure the tourists by declaring a 40 degree increase in temperature on the first Sunday in April?

Too funny.

As we lose an hour of sunlight every ten days, I'm not sure that it matters too much if the sun rises at  11 a.m. or 10 a.m., at least not for most working people; they're still not going to see it, unless they have a nice window office at work.

As for me, okay, I'll observe Alaska daylight savings time, but no, I won't be one of those people getting up at 2 a.m. to set their clocks back.

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