Is Light Pollution Eating Up Our Night?


What is light pollution? Evidently, I am not as well informed about different types of light and the overall luminescence impact it has on the environment so my first question was to why they are talking about it in the article in the first place? I’d assumed that whatever light pollution was, it was inevitable because we needed lights on at all times. Shockingly, I learned that light pollution is all artificial excessive light and it has adverse side effects on ecosystems and overall health. Evidently, people care a lot about the status of humanity so light pollution appears to be a topic after this study was published regarding the earth’s overall outdoor lighting. The study observes different areas of the planet using an earth-observant satellite that picks up on the reflection. This extreme, concentrated, amount of artificial light creates harmful residue that lingers and obstructs us from seeing the stars at night.

This article mentions that ultimately earth’s nights will slowly deteriorate as people continue to use high voltage bulbs and LED lights. LED lights aren’t as harmful, but it also brings into question the harmfulness of ‘blue light’–blue light has also been a hot topic recently because of studies done regarding its connection to sleep patterns. Although LED lights are meant to reduce the light pollution, if people are not properly informed of the proper voltage to use, they can almost do more harm with them as they are stronger than regular light bulbs.

The graphic bellow shows the increase of light in populated areas from 2012 to 2016.screen-shot-2017-11-22-at-10-53-49-am

“In the near term, it appears that artificial light emission into the environment will continue to increase, further eroding Earth’s remaining land area that experiences natural day-night light cycles,” the paper concludes.

Based on the visual above, there appears to be an increase of lighting in several areas of the world which means that it is not correlated with location but rather population. More populated areas are experiencing a greater light change because of the sheer amount of lights that people have in their home.


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