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Lakewood Times

    Light Pollution

    science topia

    Light pollution is the presence of unwanted, inappropriate, or excessive artificial lighting. In a descriptive sense light pollution refers to any poorly implemented lighting, during the day or night, and can be found as an issue throughout the many levels of our societies. Most pollution we face today is due to humans and their numerous inventions. Plastics, garbage, sewage and much more are polluting our oceans. Automobiles are polluting our air. All of these pollutants pose health problems to not only marine life, but the human population.

    The electric light bulb is thought to be one of the greatest human inventions. Electric light can be a wonderful source. It guides us home when the sun goes down, keeping us safe and making our homes cozy and bright. Too much of a good thing can start to have a negative effect, much like carbon dioxide emissions and plastics. Light pollution is the excessive use of artificial lights, thus affecting human health, wildlife behavior, and our ability to observe stars and other celestial objects.

    Light pollution is a global issue. This came to our attention when the World Atlas of Night Sky Brightness, a computer-generated map based on thousands of satellite photos, was published in 2016. This map shows where our globe is lit up at night and how it is lit up. Vast areas glow with light, while the most remote regions of the world are in complete darkness. Some of the most light-polluted countries in the world are Singapore, Qatar, and Kuwait.

    More than 80 percent of the world lives under sky glow, including 99 percent of Americans and Europeans. Sky glow may sound nice but it is caused by anthropogenic activities and is one of the most pervasive forms of light pollution. This means that it is derived from human activity.

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