Light Pollution Rises On A Global Scale

Light Pollution Rises On A Global Scale

The increase of artificial light is produced nearly everywhere on the globe, with regions of low informed previously where the luminescence is significantly more important, leading Christopher Kyba, a researcher at the Centre GFZ research of geophysics at Potsdam in Germany, the main author.

The researchers used data captured by Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on Suomi NPP satellite.

Solutions include using lower intensity lights, turning lights off when people leave an area, and choosing LED lights that are amber instead of blue or violet, since these tend to be the most harmful to animals and humans, experts say.

In a study posted in the journal Science Advances, researchers cited satellite data that found artificially lit surfaces around the world are spreading and growing brighter, producing more light pollution at night. "Continuously lit areas brightened at a rate of 2.2 percent per year", according to the study.

"And so all of those new uses of light offset, to some extent, the savings that you had".

But even though Milan, for example, made the switch to LED lights and saw a drop in radiance over the 2012-2016 period, there were increases elsewhere in Italy. In many cases, cities expand into new areas, causing their edges (which were previously only partly urbanized) to become brighter.

Another factor responsible for decreasing darkness is the scattering of light by the atmosphere. At present, there are no worldwide or national guidelines to curtail light pollution.

This study is the first to examine from space the effects of the ongoing transition in the world to LED lighting which is significantly less energy intensive.

But unfortunately judge said it, the brightness artificial will continue to increase at night in the world, with negative consequences on the environment.

It is also worth noting here that the actual situation might be much worse than the data shows.

To be specific, South America, Asia, and Africa are the ones witnessing an increase, while war-torn zones like Syria and Yemen are subject to low illumination. Sixteen countries, including areas of conflict such as Syria and Yemen, witnessed a decrease, and 39 countries, including the USA, stayed the same.

Based on the geographical variations in the distribution of growth in light pollutions, the researchers link it to the economic growth of various regions around the planet.

"We can say with fairly high confidence even though we didn't measure in the satellite an increase in these countries, they are almost certainly increasing in brightness in terms of how human beings would perceive the light", Kyba said. There is increasing evidence that artificial light may be negatively affecting human health too.

"This is concerning, of course, because we are convinced that artificial light is an environmental pollutant with ecological and evolutionary implications for many organisms - from bacteria to mammals, including us humans - and may reshape entire social ecological systems", Franz Holker of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, one of the study's authors, said in a briefing, the L.A. Times reported.

Please mention the global journal Science Advances and AAAS as the source of these items.



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