Light Pollution

Category: Environment
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Pages:  2
Words:  601
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The living environment can be defined as an assembly of the natural and man-made environment. It includes the surroundings or conditions in which people, animals or plants live and operate. Hence the “living environment” is created when various activities are combined and how the people, animals and plants react to it even when changes occur. Tiwari P., Nair R., Ankinapalli P., Rao J., Hingorani P., Gulati M. Living Environment. In India’s Reluctant Urbanization. London. Palgrave Macmillan,2015. As aforementioned light pollution has various consequences which include washing out of starlight in the night sky, interference of astronomical research, disruption of the ecosystem, adverse health effects and energy waste.

The impact of light pollution on astronomical research is referred to as sky-glow. Sky-glow refers to the glow effect that can be seen over populated areas. It is the combination of reflected and unshielded light escaping into the sky. The impacts include: washing out of starlight in the night sky which makes it difficult to see the stars, reduces contrast between galaxies and stars and in densely populated areas sky brightness is a hundred times brighter than natural. Additionally, light trespass can also have an impact on astronomical research because when artificial light enters telescopes it also reduces the contrast between the galaxies and stars. According to Damian Bruni, light pollution has seriously affected the visibility of Orion Nebula. Bruni, Damian. City Light Pollution: Its Effect on Astronomy, International Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry Communication, No.53, p.1, 1993. Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula in the Milky Way, it is one of the brightest nebulae and it visible to the naked eye. But with all the light pollution it is decreasing its visibility.

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The impact of light pollution on the disruption of the ecosystem includes two forms, glare and light trespass. Glare is when excessive light causes difficulty seeing and light trespass occurs when unwanted light enters one’s property. The impacts include: a serious threat to nocturnal wildlife, negative impact on plant and animal physiology and confusion of animal navigation. According to research scientist Christopher Kyba, for nocturnal animals, the introduction of artificial light probably represents the most drastic change human beings have made to their environment. For example, this disruption is seen in the behavior of new hatched sea turtles. Normally these animals emerge from the ocean and make their way to the ocean. In the absence of artificial light, the hatchlings use the moon’s light to guide them but with light pollution located near these beaches it distracts the baby turtles, confuses them and causes them to wander. Not only reptiles are affected by light pollution this disruption is also seen with insects. As many insects are drawn to light, artificial light can create a fatal attraction which then causes a decline in the insect population. This negatively impacts the species that rely on insects for food and pollination. Ultimately affecting food webs in various ways.

Light Pollution has adverse health effects for the living environment it includes two forms: glare and light trespass. These impacts include: stress, effect on mood and anxiety, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and the risk of cancer. Human have a hormone called melatonin, this hormone helps us sleep and creates a natural rhythm for sleep. Light pollution can affect human because there is a physiology process that occurs during the day and a certain one that takes place at night and they often work against each other when humans are affected by light pollution. According to an article written by Amina Khan, that is why working against our biological day-night clocks can result in many issues. 

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Light Pollution. (2021, Jun 10). Retrieved from

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