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Whats the Deal With Light Pollution?


File:Infographic Illustrating the Impact of Light Pollution on Our Ability to See Stars and Other Objects in the Night Sky (noirlab2302a).jpg - Wikimedia Commons. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Infographic_Illustrating_the_Impact_of_Light_Pollution_on_Our_Ability_to_See_Stars_and_Other_Objects_in_the_Night_Sky_%28noirlab2302a%29.jpg

Since it was invented in 1876, the electric light bulb has been known to many as one of the greatest human inventions. It has proven to be extremely accommodating by lighting our homes and brightening our nights. Unfortunately, every good invention has negative consequences. A problem that arose from artificial lights is light pollution. For many years, light pollution has been causing problems with humans, animals, and our environment. If we don't do anything to prevent it, the effects could be detrimental.

The Effects on Animals:

According to National Geographic, light pollution is “the excessive or poor use of artificial outdoor light.” This light has been affecting animals' migration patterns, foraging areas, and more. For example, sea turtles often lay their eggs on beaches at night. When these beaches are lit brightly, it discourages females from nesting there. Additionally, the turtles may be confused by the lights and stray from the beach and into roads, which could potentially cause them to be run over.

Changes to Humans:

In addition to animals, light pollution can also affect humans. According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, circadian rhythms are "physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle." Light, especially, can cause a person's circadian rhythm to be disrupted. The production of melatonin, an important hormone, decreases with an increased amount of light at night. This can cause several health problems, including stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and fatigue. Some studies have shown that a lower amount of melatonin can lead to cancer.

Where are the Stars?

The most noticeable consequence of light pollution is changes in the sky. Over the past few decades, the brightening of the night sky, also known as skyglow, has increased at an alarming rate. Currently, more than 80% of the world lives under a sky glow. The brighter the sky in an area, the less likely it is to see stars. It is especially difficult for astronomers to observe celestial objects due to light pollution.

What can We do About it?

Fortunately, there are many ways we can help prevent light pollution. Regular people can close their blinds and windows at night and limit the use of outdoor lights. Organizations and governments are finding ways to prevent light pollution, too. For example, many companies are developing lights that use less energy and, therefore, reduce light pollution.

To summarize, light pollution is a growing issue that not many are aware of. It not only affects the sky, but humans and animals as well. Hopefully, the fight against light pollution will continue to grow stronger and stronger.


Hi, its the author here! I wrote this to share an important issue that I rarely hear anyone bring up. Thanks for reading!







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