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Transcript of Light Pollution
SKYGLOW- is when light pollution stops people and animals seeing stars. Birds need the stars to migrate and when there is sky glow lots of birds can die from flying in circles and dying from exhaustion. It also stops astronomers from seeing small objects in space and beyond
LIGHT TRESPASS- when there is a of personal or public light that is not wanted. For example street lighting going into somebody’s bedroom. How do we prevent light pollution? There are lots of little easy things you can do to prevent light pollution, which are easy to become habits.
-Switching off your lights when you are not using them is an easy and effective way to prevent light pollution in your home
- for your health, make sure when you sleep your lights are dark enough that you cannot see your hand in front of your face.
- buy motion detector lights, that turn on and off when you are present and not present, conserving electricity and minimizing light pollution.
-ask the council to switch street lights from the old fashioned “cobra heads” , which have light that goes up into the sky as well as down to the ground, to box lights, that only face the ground and don’t glare into the sky.
While doing this may seem pointless unless you are an environmental person, doing these things can help you stay healthy. With light pollution around, people are at risk of getting cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. How does light pollution affect animals living in our environment? Light pollution affects animals by disrupting their natural rhythms (night time and daytime), plus research has shown light pollution changes the behaviour of nocturnal animals.
While light pollution affects many animals, at the moment the biggest toll is on birds. Birds use the moon and stars as guidance for their bi-annual migration. When birds fly through brightly lit areas they become disorientated and often crash into high rise and radio and TV broadcast buildings with bright lights, or circle them until they die from exhaustion.Occasionally whole flocks collide with over-lit structures. According to Michael Mesure, over two nights in 1954, 50,000 birds died at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia,USA when they followed lights straight into the ground. Another time was in 1981, when over 10,000 birds slammed into floodlit smokestacks at the Hydrox Generating Plant near Kingston, Ontario,Canada.As well as affecting birds, light pollution also damages sea animals
In the ocean, the animals that are most affected by light pollution are turtles. Bright lights near the shore discourages female turtles to come to shore and nest. As well as that, new baby turtles need darkness to orient themselves, but with loads of bright lights near the shore they lure the baby turtles away. Michael Salmon, a biologist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, says “Hatchings are attracted to lights and crawl inland, or crawl aimlessly down the beach, sometimes until dawn, when terrestrial predators or birds get them.”
To avoid predators, some animals—like snakes, salamanders and frogs—limit their movements under a full moon and tend to hunt more on moonless nights. Others hunt just after dusk. But some lighting never allows darkness to fall.
How does light pollution affect us?
Light pollution does not only affect our vision, it also affects our bodies. Our bodies have a program so they know day and night, and while you sleep a hormone called melatonin is recharged through the body. Majority of people are used to sleeping in a dark space and too much artificial light can majorly affect our sleeping patterns. We now sleep less because of distractions like TVs, computers, street lamps and other lighting inside and outside. This means most people are not able to produce enough melatonin to power our metabolism and immune system. Low melatonin levels can put people at risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. As well as this, humans’ vision blurs for up to 1 hour when we are around too many artificial lights and go out into pure darkness.
Conclusion Light pollution is a harmful and destructive to not only humans but animals as well. By doing everyday things like switching your lights off when they aren’t being used can make the difference to our future. References Murdoch Independent, Updated 2012, City Of Lights Too Bright, 13-8-2012,http://www.murdochindependent.com.au/city-of-lights-too-bright/
National Geographic (Sharon Guynup), Updated 2012, Light Pollution Taking Toll on Wild Life, Eco Group Says, 10-8-2012, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/04/0417_030417_tvlightpollution.html
ABC Science, Updated 2012, How Far Away From City Lights do you Need to be to Escape Light Pollution (Perth), 14-8-2012, http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/03/26/2527197.htm
Curiosity! Discovery, Updated 2012, How does Light Pollution affect humans? 22-8-2012, http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/how-light-pollution-affect-humans
Florida Atlantic University, Department of Physics, Unknown Update date, Prevent Light Pollution, 23-8-2012,http://physics.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-prevent.html