A concerning new report shows that artificial light is increasing around the globe and impacting the lives of not just humans but also plants and animals.
Slowly but surely, humanity is losing the starry night sky, an alarming new study claims. Researchers from Germany who analyzed light pollution world wide found that our nights are getting progressively brighter, and that artificially lit area increased by 2 percent on the Earth between 2012 and 2016.
The light pollution problem could be even worse than that, as the polar-orbiting weather satellites that were used can’t pick up light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which have become increasingly popular as a light source in recent years. And the issue is more than just not being able to enjoy a star-filled evening.
Light pollution can interfere with our sleep patterns, and it may have cause disruptions to both migration and reproduction in many animal species. Plants are also affected, as their growing periods might be longer than they were in the past.
“Artificial Lights Increasing “Loss of Night,” Especially in Some Nations: In a long-term, high-resolution global analysis of night light emissions, researchers report that the artificially lit surface of our planet is still growing – in both size and brightness – in most countries. In fewer countries has it stayed stable or declined, they say,” reads a statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science “Notably, the growth in nighttime light from 2012 to 2016, the period these researchers evaluated, nearly matched the global rise in gross domestic product (GDP), suggesting access to solid-state lighting does not decrease global energy consumption for outdoor light, as has been the goal. Artificial light is an environmental pollutant that threatens nocturnal animals and affects plants and microorganisms. During the second half of the 20th century, artificial outdoor light grew steadily, prompting inquiry into whether that trend will continue.”