科学家:地球的夜晚太亮 这其实很危险

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一直以来我们都很关注大气污染、废弃物污染,但是却忽略了一种同样很危险的污染——光污染。科学家指出,世界各地的夜晚都变得越来越亮,如果再持续下去,我们将很快看不到美丽的星空。

科学家:地球的夜晚太亮 这其实很危险

The world’s nights are getting alarmingly brighter – bad news for all sorts of creatures, humans included – as light pollution encroaches on darkness almost everywhere.

地球的夜晚变得越来越亮,这种明亮让人不安——事实上,这对于包括人类在内的各种生物都是坏消息——因为光污染正在一点一点地蚕食掉各个角落的黑暗。

什么是光污染?

光污染是继废气、废水、废渣和噪声等污染之后的一种新的环境污染源,主要包括白亮污染、人工白昼污染和彩光污染。

Satellite observations made by researchers during five consecutive Octobers show Earth’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2% a year from 2012 to 2016. So did nighttime brightness.

研究人员连续五年在十月份观测到的卫星数据显示,2012年到2016年间,地球上有人工照明的室外面积每年增加2%,夜间亮度也随之增加。

Light pollution was even worse than that, according to the German-led team, because the sensor used cannot detect some of the LED lighting that is becoming more widespread, specifically blue light.

由德国科学家带领的这一研究团队指出,光污染实际上比数据显示的更糟,因为卫星无法探测到一些LED照明灯,尤其是蓝光,发出的光线。如今人们对LED照明的应用日益普遍。

The observations indicate stable levels of night light in the US, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. But light pollution is almost certainly on the rise in those countries given this elusive blue light, according to Christopher Kyba of the GFZ German research centre for geosciences and the lead author of the study published in Science Advances.

观测结果显示,美国、荷兰、西班牙和意大利的夜间亮度保持稳定。但是,该研究的第一作者、德国地学研究中心的克里斯多夫•凯巴称,考虑到观测不到的蓝光,基本上可以肯定这些国家的光污染有所增加。这项研究发表在《科学进展》上。

Also on the rise is the spread of light into the hinterlands and overall increased use. The findings shatter the long-held notion that more energy-efficient lighting would decrease usage on the global – or at least a national – scale.

与此同时,偏僻落后地区的夜间亮度也在上升,夜间照明使用量总体增加。这一研究发现粉碎了长期以来人们持有的一个观点,就是引进更节能的照明系统会减少全球——至少是全国范围内的——照明使用量。

“Honestly, I had thought and assumed and hoped that with LEDs we were turning the corner. There’s also a lot more awareness of light pollution,” Kyba told reporters by phone from Potsdam. “It is quite disappointing.”

“说实话,我原来的设想和希望是,有了LED照明系统,事情会有所转机。人们对光污染的意识会大大增强,”凯巴通过电话告诉德国波茨坦的记者说,“结果挺让人失望的。”

The biological impact from surging artificial light is also significant, according to the researchers.

研究人员表示,人工照明激增也给生物造成了重大影响。

People’s sleep can be marred, which in turn can affect their health. The migration and reproduction of birds, fish, amphibians, insects and bats can be disrupted. Plants can have abnormally extended growing periods. And forget about seeing stars or the Milky Way if the trend continues.

人们的睡眠质量会受到损害,从而影响到身体健康。鸟类、鱼类、两栖动物、昆虫、蝙蝠的迁徙和繁衍也会被打乱。植物的生长期会异常地延长。如果光污染持续恶化,你再也别想看到星空或银河了。

具体而言,光污染对人的身体会造成哪些危害呢?

1. 光污染会严重损害人们的眼睛,导致各种眼疾。荧光灯的频繁闪烁会迫使瞳孔频繁缩放,造成眼部疲劳。如果长时间受强光刺激,会导致视网膜水肿、模糊,严重的会破坏视网膜上的感光细胞,甚至使视力受到影响。光照越强,时间越长,对眼睛的刺激就越大。卫生专家认为,视觉环境是形成近视的主要原因,而不是用眼习惯。

2. 光污染可诱发癌症。2008年一项针对以色列的调查研究发现,光污染越严重的地方,妇女罹患乳腺癌的几率大大增加。原因可能是非自然光抑制了人体的免疫系统,影响激素的产生,内分泌平衡遭破坏而导致癌变。

3. 光污染会让人产生不利情绪。光污染可能会引起头痛、疲劳、性能力下降,增加压力和焦虑。

About the only places with dramatic declines in night light were in areas of conflict such as Syria and Yemen, the researchers found. Australia also reported a noticeable drop, but that was because wildfires were raging early in the study. Researchers were unable to filter out the bright burning light.

研究人员发现,夜间亮度下降的唯一地区是叙利亚和也门这样的战乱国家。根据观测报告,澳大利亚也出现了夜间亮度的明显下降,但那是因为研究早期澳大利亚发生了大火灾,研究人员无法将野火的亮度过滤掉。

Asia, Africa and South America, for the most part, saw a surge in artificial night lighting.

在亚洲、非洲和南美洲的大部分地区,夜间人工照明水平都在迅速上升。

More and more places are installing outdoor lighting, given its low cost and the overall growth in communities’ wealth, the scientists noted. Urban sprawl is also moving towns farther out. The outskirts of major cities in developing nations were brightening quite rapidly, Kyba said.

科学家指出,因为照明成本低,加上社会财富总体水平提高,越来越多的地区安装了室外照明系统。城市扩张也让村镇不停向外延伸。凯巴说,发展中国家大城市郊区的夜间亮度正在迅速上升。

Other especially bright hot spots included sprawling greenhouses in the Netherlands and areas of intensive agriculture.

其他特别亮的区域包括荷兰四处蔓延的温室和开展集约化农业生产的土地。

One of the co-authors, Franz Holker of the Leibniz institute of freshwater ecology and inland fisheries in Berlin, said things were at the critical point.

该研究的作者之一、柏林莱布尼兹淡水生态学和内陆渔业研究所的弗兰茨•霍尔克表示,事态发展已经到了危急关头。

“Many people are using light at night without really thinking about the cost,” Holker said. Not just the economic cost, “but also the cost that you have to pay from an ecological, environmental perspective”.

霍尔克说:“很多人在晚上随便开灯,从未认真考虑过代价。”不只是经济代价,“还有生态、环境所必须付出的代价”。

Kyba and his colleagues recommend avoiding glaring lamps whenever possible – choosing amber over so-called white LEDs – and using more efficient ways to illuminate places such as parking lots or city streets.

凯巴和他的同事建议尽量避免耀眼的台灯,选择琥珀灯而不是所谓的LED白光灯,用更高效的方式来给停车场或城市街道等地方照明。

For example, dim, closely spaced lights tend to provide better visibility than bright lights that are more spread out.

比如,昏暗而集中的光线比明亮而分散的光线能提供更好的可见度。

为了自己的健康,为了地球上的生物,为了灿烂的星空,请少开几盏灯,拒绝光污染。

英文来源:卫报

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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