Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent
Sanchez de Miguel, A
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.
A central aim of the “lighting revolution” (the transition to solid-state lighting technology) is decreased energy consumption. This could be undermined by a rebound effect of increased use in response to lowered cost of light. We use the first-ever calibrated satellite radiometer designed for night lights to show that from 2012 to 2016, Earth’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2.2% per year, with a total radiance growth of 1.8% per year. Continuously lit areas brightened at a rate of 2.2% per year. Large differences in national growth rates were observed, with lighting remaining stable or decreasing in only a few countries. These data are not consistent with global scale energy reductions but rather indicate increased light pollution, with corresponding negative consequences for flora, fauna, and human well-being.
This article is based upon work from COST Action ES1204 LoNNe, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The authors acknowledge the funding received by ERA-PLANET (www.era-planet.eu) funded by the EC as part of H2020 (contract no. 689443). NOAA’s participation was funded by NASA’s VIIRS science program, contract number NNH15AZ01I. ASM’s contribution was funded by ORISON project (H2020-INFRASUPP-2015-2) Cities at Night.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from AAAS via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 3 (11), article e1701528