City Lights lead to disaster

October 31, 2011 15:12

Talk about what the night sky light pollution has become a serious problem for mankind, being a long time. And if the modern city dweller is not much going through because of the inability to see the starry sky and the Milky Way, the night insects severely affected, as guided by the stars. One small billboard leads to the death of about 350 thousand insects per year. A decrease in their population could disrupt the food chain, which threatens this environmental catastrophe, as some birds and animal species will simply have nothing to eat, German scientists have warned.

Christopher Kiba from the Free University of Berlin and environmentalist Franz Holker, project coordinator Verlust der Nacht, are studying the level of polarization of light. Insects, nocturnal, to navigate using a kind of compass: they move, focusing on the flow of polarized light. People can see it only through special lenses, while the beetles are distinguished even some of his types. Strong glow of city lights reduces polarization, causing insects astray, fall into the lamp or the break on the lense.

"Under normal conditions, the level of polarization should be 70% — 80%, but in Berlin because of the larger number of aerosols in the air this figure drops to 55%, and at night is only 11%. And depolarization effect occurs even in areas outside the city. It would seem that in the absence of street lighting performance must be restored, but we recorded a level of 30%, "- shared details of research Kiba.

These primary measurements, the scientists stressed, do not show the scale of the tragedy. It should be noted that the measurements were carried out in the winter in Berlin. "In the summer moths, crickets, moths and other night travelers behave much more active, while the moon is lower than in the winter, and therefore less visible light," — explained Kiba. Also in Berlin street lighting level is much lower than in other cities, comparable to it in size.

It should be said that they have been not only insects. Bright Lights cities astray and migratory birds that die from the cold, because they can not find their migratory route. For a long time, bright lights on the coast of Florida attracted newborn sea turtles, and they died under the wheels of cars, while the state government did not deal with this problem. Property owners, for example, force disconnect garden lamps and curtain window curtains.

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