In general, artificial lighting heavily impacts and threatens the balance of the ecosystem because numerous wildlife including plants and animals highly depend on the nocturnal and diurnal influences. It also encompasses ecological light pollution which describes the effect of artificial light on individual organisms and on the structure of ecosystems as a whole. Light pollution can disrupt animal health and behaviour; however, its effects on aquatic invertebrates are poorly understood. In general, the most common action is that light pollution alters and interferes with the timing of necessary biological activities. Light pollution, the excessive or inappropriate use of outdoor artificial light, is affecting human health, wildlife behavior, and our ability to observe stars and other celestial objects. Effects. Light pollution also changes the natural illumination at night by brightening the skies and leads to the disruption of the ecosystem. The rhythm of life is orchestrated by the natural diurnal patterns of light and dark; so disruption to these patterns impacts the ecological dynamics. According to environmentalists and researchers, light pollution causes visibility disruptions and nuisance especially from glares and the spillover effects which may lead to human health problems. When she is not writing, she loves watching sci-fi movies on Netflix. All Rights Reserved . (And Can They Choke on Raisins), Can Squirrels Eat Popcorn? Glares, light trespass, and clutter at night suggest some of the intricate aspects that have made the consequences of light pollution to be investigated. A light source that spills or scatters light in all directions is a major source of light pollution. This is because artificial light disrupts our biological clock by altering the production of melatonin - the sleep hormone. Light reflections can equally prevent natural UV rays from reaching the planet which is responsible for the continuity of plant life. Many characteristics of these animals’ behavior and physiology depend on the circadian rhythms, that is, the day and night influences. Typically, when people think about pollution, it's a question of air quality. Here are the specific and major effects of light pollution. Effects Of Light Pollution Light Pollution and its Effects. Disrupted sleep patterns. 1. Sea turtles have also been found to be highly reliant on natural lighting for reproduction, movement, eating, and development which can be heavily impacted by artificial lighting. Apart from the fact that tax payers pay needlessly for this, the nation uses millions of tons of oil and coal to produce the power needed to light the sky. /VCG. Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3, Study shows light pollution reaches the sea floor, harming marine life. What is a Biome and What are Major Types of Biomes on Earth? For e.g. Artificial lighting pollution and the threat it poses to the animals, flora, and fauna including sea turtles | Britannica Skyglow is the name for the reddish-yellow glow in the sky that persists throughout the night due to light pollution in the city below. Effects of Noise & Light Pollution Noise pollution can cause stress, anxiety, headaches, irritability, hearing loss, and sleep loss resulting in decreased productivity. Many wildlife animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles and insects are naturally photoperiodic. The placement of signage and street lights is planned by engineers, and if they do not take into... 2. 3. Hormonal imbalances. The port of Plymouth in southwest England, where research was conducted on the impact of artificial light on marine life. Light pollution (visual pollution) also affects wildlife. Light Pollution is also defined as… “The Excessive, Invasive, or Misdirected Use of Artificial (manmade) Light. As lighting continue to create artificially illuminated environment and brightening of the skies at night, it has become increasingly difficult for sky enthusiasts to view the sky at night, particularly in urban areas. Whilst light pollution is currently an issue, it’s important to remember as awareness of the issue grows, people will hopefully respond by making positive changes that will make our planet and skies safer for wildlife everywhere. Per se, lighting that uses very powerful lights to light up the respective areas leads to a lot of energy wastage and serious environmental costs (carbon footprint). Light Pollution Effects on Wildlife and Ecosystems “ When we add light to the environment, that has the potential to disrupt habitat, just like running a bulldozer over the landscape can.” — Chad Moore, formerly of the National Park Service One of the negative effects of industrialization on human activity and the environment is the production of excessive light. The air pollution, ecosystem losses and energy waste associated with light pollution are all undoubtedly negative side effects for humanity. When Light Pollution is bad enough, it has the ability to change the colour contrast of the night sky and eclipse natural starlight. The human eye is equipped to naturally adjust to the day and night patterns so as to see in the right manner. We found that unnatural light at n The devastating effects of light pollution on animals and ecosystems have been widely observed worldwide, especially near busy mega-cities, but this is the first study of its kind to look at what excessive artificial lighting is doing to creatures at the bottom of the sea, and to present actual measurements of its impact. The first issue that affects humans and the environment alike is energy consumption. 1. Especially, many young people growing up in the city might never experience this beautiful view if people continue to evolve into the night through lighting. Melatonin a hormone released according to the circadian rhythm of our bo… Luminous pollution has dire effects on our environment and resources of energy as well as wildlife ecology and astronomical research. In animals and plantsproduces the following consequences: 1. 4. On this regard, growth, development, reproduction, eating and locomotion all depend on the balance between day and night. It may seem strange, but excess light is a form of pollution, particularly at night. Besides almost obliterating the stars from our night skies – more than a third of humanity is no longer able to see the Milky Way nowadays – light pollution has become a problem that goes as deep as the bottom of the sea. 8 Various Types of Environmental Pollution, Why Do White Rabbits Have Red Eyes? Sky glow results from light pollution, or the excess of electric light during the night. Her passion for science education drove her to start EarthEclipse with the sole objective of finding and sharing fun and interesting science facts. (And Almond Butter), Oceanography vs Marine Biology (Are They Same or Different), Ecosystem – Components and Threats To an Ecosystem, What is Flora and Fauna and Importance of Flora and Fauna, Desert Biome: Climate, Precipitation, Location, Seasons, Plants, Animals. Causes of Light Pollution 1. As a result, the world is slowly losing the beautiful dark sky view with the moon and the skies as well as other outer space objects. Spillovers and glare are some of the lighting outcomes that cause eye strain, loss of clear vision, aging of the eyes, and stress which most people complain about. Light pollution negatively impacts on animal and plant physiology thereby modifying the competitive interactions of the animals, tampers with their migratory patterns, and distorts predator-prey relations. "So unless we take action now, it is clear that biologically important light pollution on the sea floor is likely to be globally widespread, and increasing in intensity and extent, and putting marine habitats at risk. Light pollution competes with starlight in the night sky for urban residents, interferes with astronomical observatories, and, like any other form of pollution, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects. However, its effects can be felt beyond living beings, for example, in the impossibility of seeing the night sky, since light pollution prevents the vision of the stars and most other celestial phenomena during the night . It can create a disorienting experience for the wildlife if there is too much artificial light, especially during night time. Working at nights has become normal for a section of society that has become global and does not want to waste a moment of time. What are the effects of light pollution? (And Process of Formation), Causes and Effects of Marine Habitat Loss, 35+ Outstanding Facts About the Planet Earth, Advantages and Importance of Reforestation, Five Different Atmospheric Layers of the Earth, Causes and Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion, Extraordinary Ways to Protect Coral Reefs, Causes and Effects to Environmental Pollution, Causes and Effects of Ocean Acidification. Alteration of the biological clock. With respect to adverse health effects, many species, especi… Alteratio… In disrupting ecosystems, light pollution poses a serious threat in particular to nocturnal wildlife, having negative impacts on plant and animal physiology. That Earthly Sky Glow Light pollution is a global issue. According to environmentalists and researchers, light pollution causes visibility disruptions and nuisance especially from glares and the spillover effects which may lead to human health problems. The adverse effects of light pollution have also been observed in the aquatic ecosystem. The researchers are also investigating how individual species living on sea floors are affected by light pollution, while plans for global measurements involving an international team of scientists called Global Artificial Light Ocean Network (GLOW) have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. What they found is that while the impact of the red wavelengths was minimal, 76 percent and 70 percent respectively of green and blue lights reached the seafloor – these same colors being present in the LEDs that are used along the coast to light up city streets. In the case of humans, it can have the following negative health effects: 1. Astronomers have had lately had problems viewing and reading the activities in the outer space and sky because of the continued brightening of the skies. Effects of light pollution on health and wildlife. Impact of Light Pollution on Health Light pollution also has clear health and environmental detriments, including harming abilities to sleep, increasing possible cancer, and harming animal behavior, including migration. Can Squirrels Eat Bread? /Paul Souders/Getty/VCG. 3. (And Which Foods to Avoid), Can Squirrels Eat Raisins? 2. Especially when they are feeding, sleeping, mating and also during migration cycles of all wildlife. Production for that energy commonly uses fossil fuels and non-renewable sources. What is Oceanography and What Does an Oceanographer Do? Too much light can damage human eyes and even harm the hormone melatonin which is responsible for regulating diurnal and nocturnal visions. The effects produced by light pollution affect not only human beings but also the flora and fauna exposed to it. (And Do They Mate With Other Species). People are also at risk, however, from the direct impacts of living in areas where there are always lights on nearby. This leads to an excessive algal bloom that may reduce the quality of water and also disturbs the life of flora of aquatic ecosystems. The spread of artificial lighting means most of us no longer experience truly dark nights. Here are some of known side effects of light pollution. Light pollution also changes the natural illumination at night by brightening the skies and leads to the disruption of the ecosystem. This type of light pollution cause what's called an 'artificial skyglow,' disrupting the natural biological cycles of the marine life living on sea floors which relies on the light of the moon to regulate itself for behaviors such as reproduction, sleep, food and protection from predators. The devastating effects of light pollution on animals and ecosystems have been widely observed worldwide, especially near busy mega-cities, but this is the first study of its kind to look at what excessive artificial lighting is doing to creatures at the bottom of the sea, and to present actual measurements of its impact. In fact, light pollution can affect the areas surrounding our cities for tens or even hundreds of miles, reaching leaves no living thing ever untouched. Light pollutant Light pollution is the impact that anthropogenic light has on the visibility of the night sky. Sonia Madaan is a writer and founding editor of science education blog EarthEclipse. Humans evolved to the rhythms of the natural light-dark cycle of day and night. The general quality of life is also affected by light pollution, and it can interfere with crucial navigation systems for planes which may lead to accidents. And that light that is scattered upwards is wasted and lost light. This can result in sleep disorders and other health implications such as stress, exhaustion, headaches, increased anxiety, and some forms of obesity may develop. Unlike other forms of pollution, light pollution has not been regarded as an important issue until lately. Disturbing our body clocks has caused ill effects on the human body. Research suggests that artificial light at night can negatively affect human health, increasing risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer and more. Artificial light sources hinder opportunities to photograph the night sky and alter the levels of natural light for the amatuer astronomer. Light pollution can cause major adverse health effects. You may love Christmas lights, but leaving them on all night is a form of pollution, as is leaving... 3. Ways to reduce light pollution: In fact, light pollution has an important effect on the trophic chains of nocturnal animals, since it directly affects the ability to hunt and, therefore, feed. Learn about light pollution, including its effects on nature. It can confuse the migratory patterns of animals, alter competitive interactions of animals, change predator-prey relations, and cause physiological harm. Poor Planning. Apart from the fact the individual businesses, homes, and public utilities pay for the lighting, the nation uses millions of money to generate electric power and loads of oil and non-renewable energy sources like coal are exploited to produce the ever needed power. For instance, hundreds of wildlife such as deer and zebras are killed on the roads in the evenings since the glares blind and distort their night locomotive aspects. Gegenschein is more pronounced in cities where the air is full of pollutants.2. Many people do not experience complete darkness any more. Simply put, light pollution modifies the daily rhythm and cycles of life which are directed by darkness and light, thus upsetting the ecological activities. ", Copyright © 2020 CGTN. Many people don’t realize that it costs lots of money to the power grid system to support the lighting of public places, homes, and commercial places. Oil drills, submarines, and other vessels on and in the ocean can cause excessive noise that has resulted in the injury or death of marine animals, especially whales. While the studies found associations and not proof that light pollution causes diseases, some scientists theorize the suppression of melatonin could be directly responsible. Hence, any amounts of artificial lights introduced in their respective environments can seriously alter their natural cycles and operations. Skyglow. It is also an effective use of energy in the form of electricity. But there's another kind that poses a threat to humans and animals: light pollution. Light pollution also affects the quality of life and safety of humans. Alteration of the life cycle of nocturnal animals. Not only you, but perhaps many people love the beauty of the skies and seeing the view of the various shapes of the moon and the stars at night. (And Which Foods Do They Actually Like), How Do Birds Mate? The American Medical Association (AMA) has for years warned about the health effects of the glaringly bright white LED street lights. And it is a direct result of both interior and exterior lighting in highly populated areas such as Edmonton. Numerous studies highlight immediate consequences on sleep. The researchers from the University of Plymouth spent four nights in 2018 studying the waters of Plymouth Sound and the Tamar estuary, looking for light infiltration – in the form of red, green and blue wavelengths – on the surface of the water, beneath the surface, and on the sea floor. 50% of the light, due to poor shielding, is directed towards the sky, diminishing its view and hence, leading to energy wastage. This costs people money and pollutes the environment. As we already know, burning of fossil fuels leads to greenhouse gas emissions. Incidence in the natural growth of plants. Migraine. Specifically, light pollution has been realized due to some of its effects. A study led by the University of Plymouth in the UK has found that the artificial light from coastal cities is affecting as many as three quarters of habitats on their neighboring sea floors. But light pollution is not like water pollution, which is pollution of water. Waste of resources: It costs a lot of money to light up homes, public places, sports and commercial places. 2. In the main cities, it is estimated that about 60% of the nation’s total energy is used for public and commercial lighting while about 6% is used for outdoor lighting in residential areas. Since peoples‘ sleep may be affected through light pollution, bad sleep can lead to all kinds of health conditions, including heart attack and … She loves writing on topics related to space, environment, chemistry, biology, geology and geography. Adverse consequences are multiple; some of them may not be known yet. Another type of glow is known as ‘gegenschein’: this refers to the way that the sun’s rays illuminate gas and dust in the atmosphere causing a wide-ranging glow. Light pollution decreases the capacity of the zooplankton to consume algae from the water surface. The effects of light pollution on plants and animals in the environment are numerous and are becoming more known over time. "Seventy-five per cent of the world's mega-cities are now located in coastal regions and coastal populations are projected to more than double by 2060," said Thomas Davies, the University of Plymouth marine conservation lecturer who led the study. How Does Photosynthesis Take Place in Desert Plants? How do Rainbows Form? Working and living in artificially lighted environments have adverse effects on our organ systems leading to obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, cancers and more. The group behind the paper is hoping their research will trigger new policies looking into mitigating the negative impact of artificial lighting on the environment, and possibly reducing excessive lighting. The negative effects of light pollution impact many fields of study, including economics, ecology and, of course, astronomy. Irresponsible Use. Light pollution is an artificial light that’s excessive and has a profound effect on astronomy. The effects of light pollution reach humans, animals, and the environment. Linkages with health and wildlife have been a key focus in the geography literature. . a street light designed to direct light downwards towards the street is more suited for its purpose. Earth Eclipse. With more lights, comes more needs for energy. © 2020 . Reduction of melatonin production in the body; hormone responsible for growth in the body. Baby sea turtles use moonlight reflecting on waves to reach the sea after hatching – unless artificial lights confuse them. (Albinism), Can Squirrels Eat Almonds? Video of Learn about light pollution, including its effects on nature. This is because when an open bulb releases light, most of it is directed upward, instead of focusing on a specific spot. Light pollution is a side-effect of industrial civilization. Overpopulation. 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