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Light pollution: definition, causes and consequences

Surely light pollution is a great unknown, the general attention is always diverted towards topics generally conceived as more relevant. However, light pollution has more serious consequences than is thought, despite the fact that it has not been studied as deeply as it should. It is true that living beings have adapted their rhythm of life (biorhythm) throughout their evolution to astronomical cycles, such as the alternation between day and night, but it seems that the human being has again interfered in the course natural and threatens to alter these biorhythms “eliminating” the night. It is therefore something obvious that light pollution has serious consequences on living beings, including us.

At AgroCorrn we captured your attention to tell you about this undervalued form of night sky pollution in this article on light pollution: definition, causes and consequences .

You may also be interested in: Light pollution: definition for children
Index
  1. What is light pollution
  2. Causes of light pollution
  3. Consequences of light pollution

What is light pollution

Light pollution consists of the dispersion of surplus light from artificial sources of illumination by the atmosphere, which consequently causes the brightness on the night sky to increase. This brightness increases due to the reflection and refraction properties of light as it passes through the particles found in our atmosphere.

Generally, light pollution is due to the poor quality of the lighting, and as a consequence, it reduces the visibility of the celestial bodies in the sky at night .

Light pollution encompasses various problems associated with the misuse of artificial light , which is often unnecessary, which entails both wastage in energy consumption and in the associated economy.

It is true that lighting provides great advantages such as security, traffic flow or attracting attention to areas of interest. However, it also entails great costs and drawbacks. It is not about eliminating these sources of lighting, but about finding a balance that respects our environment .

Therefore, it is logical to think that light pollution is increased in places where artificial lighting abounds, such as large cities, usually with poor management of them. This is because its design is guided by aesthetics and not by its functionality, taking into account the repercussions that they may have.

Causes of light pollution

As we mentioned earlier, the main cause of this type of pollution is the misuse of artificial lighting . But what does this consist of? Well, most street lamps have the wrong design by sending the light they emit upwards, that is, towards the sky (for example, those round street lamps that look like a ball of light). However, where that light is really needed is on the ground, so that to illuminate this area it is necessary to administer a greater power, producing energy waste.

However, poor exterior lighting screening is not the only cause. In light pollution contribute other sources of very large light intensities (overlighting), these causes of light pollution are:

  • The projectors or laser cannons.
  • Excessive lighting for advertising purposes.
  • the absence of an efficient switch-off and switch-on schedule, since lighting is often unnecessary for the activities planned in that specific area.

It is important to consider that the consequences caused by light pollution do not simply affect the area where it occurs, such as large population centers, commercial areas, industrial estates, roads and communication routes, etc., but that its effect spreads through the atmosphere, reaching a mark many kilometers further from where it originated.

Consequences of light pollution

The most direct and immediate consequence of light pollution is the degradation of the night sky and the loss of its visibility . When this occurs at high intensities, the night sky takes on a reddish or orange hue.

However, this is not the only sequel that this type of contamination has, among them we can also highlight the following:

  • Energy loss with consequent economic loss. The consequences of light pollution are not limited to the economic expense of the excess energy invested in it, but also to the consequent abuse of the natural resources that are needed to achieve it, that is, again nature is the only one that “pays for our whims “.
  • Excessive energy consumption generates greater amounts of waste during its production, which contributes to climate change.
  • It alters the natural cycles of many species by causing modifications in their activity-rest biorhythms.
  • Derived from the modification of biorhythms, it can cause fatigue, insomnia or anxiety , among others.
  • It seriously affects the trophic chains in which nocturnal animals are involved , since their hunting capacity is compromised and, therefore, their feeding.

If you want to read more articles similar to Light pollution: definition, causes and consequences , we recommend that you enter our Pollution category .

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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