Due to increase in population and growth in advancement of science and technology in many countries, people often forget how this is influencing the natural world day by day. Already pollutions like air, sound, water, radiation etc. are affecting the mankind due to its own deeds. Now another type of pollution is also emerging as a problem which could be the major talk of the day in the near future. This post is about Light Pollution which is increasing around the world resulting in decrease of darkness.
Light Pollution & Its Latest Studies
Light pollution is excessive, misdirected, or obtrusive artificial (usually outdoor) light. Light pollution is an unwanted consequence of outdoor lighting and includes such effects as sky glow, light trespass, and glare. Light pollution can accumulate significantly within highly populated areas, causing a number of issues within the natural environment. With dark, starry skies disappearing as a result of light pollution, humans when use excessive lights, this lights reduces the visibility of stars in a night sky.
Latest researches by scientists say that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year. Between 2012 and 2016, the planet’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by more than 2.2 % per year. Scientists say a “loss of night” in many countries is having negative consequences for “flora, fauna, and human well-being”. The data for the new study comes from the Suomi NPP satellite, which was designed as an operational testbed for critical hardware components that will go on a next-generation series of weather satellites from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A researcher at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Christopher Kyba said that:-
The areas that are getting brighter rapidly are developing countries. So a lot of places in South America, Africa, and Asia are brightening really, really rapidly, up to 10 percent or more per year, even, in some cases. For the United States, for example, we don’t see much of a change. But we know that a lot of LEDs are going in. And that means that the United States is almost certainly getting brighter, in terms of how people see the world with their human eyes.
This first-ever calibrated satellite radiometer designed for night lights revealed that artificially lit areas at night across India has increased by 33% between 2012 and 2016 — a rise of 7.4% per year. The total radiance of lit areas over the country also increased by 7.1% per year or 31.6% during the same period. While China saw an increase of 2.1% every year, Pakistan saw a drop of 4.9%, UK (0.1%), US (-0.1%).
Images from a Nasa satellite radiometer is shown below
Only a few countries showed a decrease in brightness, such as Yemen and Syria – both experiencing escalating conflict and warfare.
Types Of Light Pollution
Glare:- Unshielded light that is chucked into the sky. It is responsible for visibility loss and blinding (in extreme cases).
Sky Glow:- It is responsible for blocking the sight of the Milky Way and stars from many areas. Can be a pain in the arse for astrologists.
Light Trespass:- When you are interfered or exposed to unwanted light. It can be from your street light, your neighbours head torch or a midnight indicator.
Overlighting:- When excessive lights are used to emphasise and seek attention to something, be it a building, a bridge or a suburb.
Effects of Light Pollution
* For humans , sleep disorders arise due to light trespassing (unwanted light at our windows from outside) & by disturbance in circadian rhythm. Being exposed to light at night has been shown on a multitude of occasions to be linked to obesity, depression, sleeping disorders,, and others. Bright points of light from poorly designed roadway lighting produces a condition known as “ .” Disability glare is so intense that it causes us to avert our eyes from the veil of light being scattered across our retinas.
* The light, just like the increased calcification, shuts off the pineal gland’s production of Melatonin, as the gland naturally only operates in the dark. Melatonin inhibits the ovarian glands from increasing in size and so limits their production of hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH.
* Nocturnal animals use darkness for cover to hunt down their prey ; excessive lighting at night disrupt their survival and ultimately the entire ecosystem gets disturbed. Their Food chain gets disturbed and also the Pollination for plants by birds & insects.
How Light Pollution can be controlled or reduced?