Artificial light alters natural regimes of night-time sky brightness
Davies, Thomas W.
Gaston, Kevin J.
Nature Publishing Group
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Artificial light is globally one of the most widely distributed forms of anthropogenic pollution. However, while both the nature and ecological effects of direct artificial lighting are increasingly well documented, those of artificial sky glow have received little attention. We investigated how city lights alter natural regimes of lunar sky brightness using a novel ten month time series of measurements recorded across a gradient of increasing light pollution. In the city, artificial lights increased sky brightness to levels six times above those recorded in rural locations, nine and twenty kilometers away. Artificial lighting masked natural monthly and seasonal regimes of lunar sky brightness in the city, and increased the number and annual regime of full moon equivalent hours available to organisms during the night. The changes have potentially profound ecological consequences.
European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)
Open access journal
Vol. 3, article 1722
Place of publication