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1.9 million sq km of the world’s coasts impacted by light pollution

by Tim Smyth

(The Conversation UK)


The Plymouth Marine Laboratory,, last year published an atlas of artificial light at night under the sea.


The atlas reveals that at a depth of 1 metre, light pollution affects 1.9 million sq km of the world’s coastal seas. This is equivalent to 3.1% of global exclusive economic zones (the areas of the ocean owned by coastal nations).

Such research has confirmed that light pollution is widespread and expanding. But the difference between the intensity and cycles of natural and unnatural light has to this point been understudied. Quantifying this would allow a better understanding of the impact of expansive urbanised coastlines on the ecology of marine ecosystems.


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