Light pollution is increasing more than expected

Light pollution is increasing more than expected

More and more light sources in homes and other buildings, on industrial sites, on billboards, along paths and streets, but also in parks and private gardens make the nights in our densely populated landscape much brighter. you cause Although there is no visible dirt, it is still called light pollution..

The Light sources act like a vacuum cleaner on the ecosystem: A study by the IGB (Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries) in a test field in West Havelland showed that even 260 times more insects hum like in dark environment.

With a dark sky you can about 3,000 to 4,000 stars see in one shiny city evil 100, because the night is massively illuminated by artificial light. Night brightness is increasing around the world by two to six percent per year.

In 2017, the so-called study by Krefeld caused an uproar: according to him, the biomass of flying insects has decreased by more than 75% in the last 27 years. Insects depend on the differences between light and dark. Artificial light changes the behavior of insects. In moths, it has been shown that the variety of pollen collected and the reproductive activity of females decrease in the vicinity of light sources. In addition, insects in the light cone become easy prey for predators.

On March 1, 2022, a new federal insect protection law went into effect. Thus, the harmful effects of light pollution on insects must be reduced. In the future, there will be a general ban on new public lighting systems and light advertising in nature reserves. In addition, the operation of celestial radiators – so-called sky beamers – may be restricted and insect traps by artificial light sources may be prohibited.

Christine Elsner, ZDF Environmental Department