Negative effects of artificial lighting.
Complete Article...http://www.energytimes.com/pages/departments/0911/earthmatters0911.htmlPreserving the Night
Artificial lighting casts a long shadow over animal and human health.
November / December 2009
Before the lightbulb, people slept beneath inky skies with only the flicker of a candle or torch to hold the darkness at bay. Today we control when we sleep and when we rouse, staying awake late into the night amid domes of artificial light reflected from homes, businesses and streetlamps.
Cities can be seen from space, yet the bright world we’ve created has its downsides. More than simply hamper our view of the stars, artificial light—or light pollution—affects the migration, reproduction and feeding of wildlife, and is suspected of causing some cancers in people. Plants and coral reefs are also affected by artificial light as it disrupts their natural growth cycles.
Bright lights and haze can extend more than 100 miles beyond the borders of an urban area, exposing deer, coyotes, moose, raccoons, bats and other animals to predators and hindering their ability to search for food. Frogs and other wetland inhabitants become disoriented, leading to a decrease in reproduction. Moths and other insects encircle artificial lights, neglecting to reproduce and pollinate, dying of exhaustion or becoming targets for predators.
In North America, 100 million birds die in collisions with lighted structures. Near coastal areas,
marine birds can fly off course to the point where they die of exhaustion. Sea turtle hatchlings, instinctively drawn to the ocean by the reflection of the moon and the stars, crawl towards roads and communities, ultimately dying from dehydration, cars, predators and fatigue.