Friday, December 17, 2010

Can excess lights at night contribute to air pollution?... Check out

A study by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado has shown that excess light at night can contribute to air pollution .

Findings indicate that uplight from outdoor lighting that contributes to sky glow over cities also interferes with chemical reactions that naturally clean the air during nighttime hours.

Every night, chemicals from vehicle exhaust and other human created sources are broken down and prevented from becoming smog, ozone, or other irritants by a form of nitrogen oxide called the nitrate radical. Sunlight destroys the naturally occurring nitrate radical, so this process occurs only in hours of darkness.

Measurements taken over Los Angeles by aircraft show that light pollution from cities is suppressing the radical. Though the lights are 10,000 times dimmer than the Sun, the study's first results indicate that city lights can slow down the nighttime cleansing by up to 7pc and they can increase the starting chemicals for ozone pollution the next day by up to 5pc.

"[This effect] is more important up in the air than it is directly on the ground so if you manage to keep the light pointing downward and not reflected back up into sky, into the higher parts of the air, then you would certainly have a much smaller effect of this," NOAA investigator Harald Stark told BBC News.

The finding has been presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

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9 comments:

Jennifer is Always Sick said...

This seems like a stretch. I think it's more likely that areas with more lights at night are also the most heavily populated. More gas and oil is burned and more trash is collected and dumped, etc... I think that is what is contributing to the air pollution.

Slonek Air Conditioning said...

Yes they could I suppose.We have to possible start reduce the usage of lights.There are also eco friendly lights which could help.Also love the concept of solar power.

ahsiang - known as "吹水 - CHUI SUI" previously said...

we should light off more often

Max richards said...

Do you know that light pollution affects animals the same way it affects us? Do you know "The GubbiGoodu Campaign" is one such campaign which is trying to make a difference.For more information please click http://gubbigoodu.in/

North Jersey Air Systems said...

I am sure there must be truth in the article and therefore it should be acted upon.The night lights should be reduced for the healthy living of one and all.

Mobile Mechanics Perth said...

Great blog post, I just want to say Climate Change is a big threat for the biodiversity on our planet. But electric cars and renewable energies could make a difference! We need to raise awareness for different species which are threatened by climate change.

Mobile Mechanics Perth said...

Great blog post, I just want to say Climate Change is a big threat for the biodiversity on our planet. But electric cars and renewable energies could make a difference! We need to raise awareness for different species which are threatened by climate change.

Storm Schutte said...

Lights wo i never new that hey. I will start to do so and mention is around thanks for the post. in this one message we received from Marlin (www.roarsheppard.com), he said that it is all the little things on earth thy people forgwt about that can make a huge difference. I never new lights :(

Storm Schutte said...

Wo, i never new lights. It is hard to think. I will mention it around and be more alert. Marlin had said roarsheppard.com that if all humans new that small things that affected the earth they would understand how every one can make a diffrence.
Thanks for the info.