There is night and day and with it comes darkness and light. It’s something as natural as breathing – a natural phenomenon as old as time that dictates the world order. Well, it might have been true in the past but things have definitely changed since technology began to dominate the world more and more. If you look at the night sky nowadays, it is no longer as dark as it is supposed to be. While we like the idea of being able to do more now regardless if it is night or day, it may have a negative impact to the environment without us really knowing. After all, there is a reason why things happen the way they do and the more we meddle with how the planet works only spell disaster for everyone in the long run.
Artificial lights glimmer and sparkle in the night sky especially if you live in urban areas. But even in rural places right now, you can still see certain areas lighted more heavily than the others. What does this mean then? Of course, we know how much of an impact technology has over the environment. And while it is not immediately obvious, human health also suffers alongside most tech innovations as they change the way things should be in a perfect world. And we are not just talking about the conventional lights we use to make a room or certain place brighter but even the light (specifically blue light) emitted by most smart tech devices have a long list of negative effects to our health and overall well-being. Other living species likewise suffer because of the imbalance in the natural day/night cycle as they haven’t evolved yet to adapt to these new and modern practices.
The distinction between day and night is disappearing in the most heavily populated regions of the Earth, a rapid shift with profound consequences for human health and the environment, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
“We’re losing more and more of the night on a planetary scale,” journal editor Kip Hodges said in a teleconference on the paper’s findings.
From 2012 to 2016, the artificially lit area of the Earth’s surface grew by 2.2 percent per year, according to the study led by Christopher Kyba of the German Research Centre for Geosciences. Kyba and his team analyzed high-resolution satellite imagery to measure the extent of artificial outdoor lighting at night. The study also found that areas of the planet already lit grew even brighter, increasing in luminosity at a rate of 2.2 percent per year.
In the span of one century, a lot of things have really changed in society and you simply have to peek outside your home at night to see how much lively the world has become in the presence of artificial lighting. Sleep issues are increasingly reported. After all, how can you sleep when the room is so bright and you have modern distractions like smartphones and computers to keep you entertained all-night-long thereby ruining your natural body clock and throwing it into chaos? And we can only expect it to become brighter as the years go by as the world continues to embrace one technological advancement to the other.
Scientists say a “loss of night” in many countries is having negative consequences for “flora, fauna, and human well-being”.
A team published the findings in the journal Science Advances.
Their study used data from a Nasa satellite radiometer – a device designed specifically to measure the brightness of night-time light.
It showed that changes in brightness over time varied greatly by country. Some of the world’s “brightest nations”, such as the US and Spain, remained the same. Most nations in South America, Africa and Asia grew brighter.
Led light, while cost-effective and somehow environment-friendly, has its cons too that is seldom talked about by many. As its market grows, there will definitely be brands that aren’t up to par as the gold standard and can compromise our health and safety even more. But it is only part and parcel of the problem. There are many more that dominates our life today we can only ponder in wonder how all these technologies are messing up our lives and the world at large. The world rotates each day for a reason but the more we use artificial lighting and brighten up the night sky, we unconsciously disrupt the natural world order and affect the lives of many other living species that do not share the same lifestyle as us humans. The good thing is that it is not yet too late and we can still correct the error of our ways and make up for all the bad things Mother Nature had to endure because we forgot the difference of night and day.