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Author Solbrig, J.E.; Miller, S.D.; Zhang, J.; Grasso, L.; Kliewer, A.
Title Assessing the stability of surface lights for use in retrievals of nocturnal atmospheric parameters Type Journal Article
Year 2020 Publication Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Abbreviated Journal Atmos. Meas. Tech.
Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 165-190
Keywords Remote Sensing
Abstract The detection and characterization of aerosols are inherently limited at night because the important information provided by visible spectrum observations is not available and infrared bands have limited sensitivity to aerosols. The VIIRS Day–Night Band (DNB) onboard the Suomi-NPP satellite is a first-of-its-kind calibrated sensor capable of collecting visible and near-infrared observations during both day and night. Multiple studies have suggested that anthropogenic light emissions such as those from cities and gas flares may be useable as light sources for the retrieval of atmospheric properties, including cloud and aerosol optical depth. However, their use in this capacity requires proper characterization of their intrinsic variation, which represents a source of retrieval uncertainty. In this study we use 18 months of cloud-cleared VIIRS data collected over five selected geographic domains to assess the stability of anthropogenic light emissions and their response to varied satellite and lunar geometries. Time series are developed for each location in each domain for DNB radiance, four infrared channels, and satellite and lunar geometric variables, and spatially resolved correlation coefficients are computed between DNB radiance and each of the other variables. This analysis finds that while many emissive light sources are too unstable to be used reliably for atmospheric retrievals, some sources exhibit a sufficient stability (relative standard deviation <20 %). Additionally, we find that while the radiance variability of surrounding surfaces (i.e., unpopulated land and ocean) is largely dependent on lunar geometry, the anthropogenic light sources are more strongly correlated with satellite viewing geometry. Understanding the spatially resolved relationships between DNB radiance and other parameters is a necessary first step towards characterizing anthropogenic light emissions and establishes a framework for a model to describe variability in a more general sense.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 1867-8548 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial (down) 3005
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Author Lessmann, C.; Steinkraus, A.
Title The geography of natural resources, ethnic inequality and civil conflicts Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication European Journal of Political Economy Abbreviated Journal European Journal of Political Economy
Volume 59 Issue Pages 33-51
Keywords Remote Sensing
Abstract e study whether the spatial distribution of natural resources across different ethnic groups within countries causes spatial inequality and the incidence of armed conflict. By providing a theoretical rent-seeking model and analysing a set of geo-coded data for mines, night-time light emissions, local populations and ethnic homelands, we show that the spatial distribution of resources is a major driving factor of ethnic income inequality. Moreover, a spatially unequal distribution of natural resources induces rent-seeking behaviour and thus increases the risk of civil conflicts. Consequently, we extend the perspective of the resource curse to explain cross-country differences in income inequality and the onset of civil conflicts.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0176-2680 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial (down) 3002
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Author Lessmann, C.; Seidel, A.
Title Regional inequality, convergence, and its determinants – A view from outer space Type Journal Article
Year 2017 Publication European Economic Review Abbreviated Journal European Economic Review
Volume 92 Issue Pages 110-132
Keywords Remote Sensing
Abstract This paper provides a new dataset of regional income inequalities within countries based on satellite nighttime light data. First, we empirically study the relationship between luminosity data and regional incomes for those countries for which regional income data are available. Second, we use our estimation results for an out-of-sample prediction of regional incomes based on the luminosity data. These results enable us to investigate regional income differentials in developing countries that lack official income data. Third, we calculate commonly used measures of regional inequality within countries based on predicted incomes. An investigation of changes in the dispersion of regional incomes over time reveals that approximately 67–70% of all countries experience sigma-convergence. Forth, we study different major determinants of within-country changes in inequality, i.e., the determinants of the convergence process. We find evidence for an N-shaped relationship between development and regional inequality. Resources, mobility, trade openness, aid, federalism and human capital are also very important.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0014-2921 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial (down) 3001
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Author Fabian, M.; Lessmann, C.; Sofke, T.
Title Natural disasters and regional development – the case of earthquakes Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Environment and Development Economics Abbreviated Journal Envir. Dev. Econ.
Volume 24 Issue 5 Pages 479-505
Keywords Remote Sensing
Abstract We analyze the impact of earthquakes on nighttime lights at a sub-national level, i.e., on grids of different size. We argue that existing studies on the impact of natural disasters on economic development have several important limitations, both at the level of the outcome variable as well as at the level of the independent variable, e.g., the timing of an event and the measuring of its intensity. We aim to overcome these limitations by using geophysical event data on earthquakes together with satellite nighttime lights. Using panel fixed effects regressions covering the entire world for the period 1992–2013, we find that earthquakes reduce both light growth rates and light levels significantly. The effects persist for approximately 5 years, but we find no long-run effects. Effects are stronger the smaller the area of a unit of observation. National institutions and economic conditions are relevant moderating factors.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 1355-770X ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial (down) 3000
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Author Määttä, I.; Lessmann, C.
Title Human Lights Type Journal Article
Year 2019 Publication Remote Sensing Abbreviated Journal Remote Sensing
Volume 11 Issue 19 Pages 2194
Keywords Remote Sensing
Abstract Satellite nighttime light data open new opportunities for economic research. The data are objective and suitable for the study of regions at various territorial levels. Given the lack of reliable official data, nightlights are often a proxy for economic activity, particularly in developing countries. However, the commonly used product, Stable Lights, has difficulty separating background noise from economic activity at lower levels of light intensity. The problem is rooted in the aim of separating transient light from stable lights, even though light from economic activity can also be transient. We propose an alternative filtering process that aims to identify lights emitted by human beings. We train a machine learning algorithm to learn light patterns in and outside built-up areas using Global Human Settlements Layer (GHSL) data. Based on predicted probabilities, we include lights in those places with a high likelihood of being man-made. We show that using regional light characteristics in the process increases the accuracy of predictions at the cost of introducing a mechanical spatial correlation. We create two alternative products as proxies of economic activity. Global Human Lights minimizes the bias from using regional information, while Local Human Lights maximizes accuracy. The latter shows that we can improve the detection of human-generated light, especially in Africa.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 2072-4292 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial (down) 2999
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