Light pollution is increasing near coral reefs as coastal developments expand. Some bungalows are even built above the reef with clear floors, so that tourists can watch the fish at night. But that means the fish can see the light from the bungalows, too.
An estimated 600 million birds are killed every year from collisions with some of the country's largest skyscrapers, according to research from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Particularly deadly are those tall buildings found in three cities in particular.
Composite image of continental U.S. at night, 2016.
A chestnut-sided warbler
Patricia Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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What are the most dangerous U.S. cities for migratory birds?
That's the question answered by a new study published last week in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, which looked at the problem of light pollution. Seventy percent of bird species present in the U.S. are migratory, and more than 80 percent of those species migrate at night. The increasing light pollution of cities attracts the avian travelers, who then crash into buildings. Building collisions kill an estimated 600 million birds in the U.S. every year, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which led the study.
The researchers created two lists for the cities that pose the greatest risk to birds during both the spring and fall migratory season, based on both geography and light pollution.
By Dipika Kadaba
The amount of artificial lighting is steadily increasing every year around the planet. It's a cause for celebration in remote villages in Africa and the Indian sub-continent that recently gained access to electricity for the first time, but it is also harming the health and well-being of residents of megacities elsewhere that continue to get bigger and brighter every year.
Health impacts of this artificial illumination after daylight hours range from depression to cancer, including a range of sleep disorders.
NASA scientists created the most complete map of Earth at night to date—showing humans in all of their electric glory. But, while the photos are magical, they also show human's extreme effect on the planet.