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Aubé, M. (2015). Physical behaviour of anthropogenic light propagation into the nocturnal environment. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 370, 20140117.
Abstract: Propagation of artificial light at night (ALAN) in the environment is now known to have non negligible consequences on fauna, flora and human health. These consequences depend on light levels and their spectral power distributions, which in turn rely on the efficiency of various physical processes involved in the radiative transfer of this light into the atmosphere and its interactions with the built and natural environment. ALAN can affect the living organisms by direct lighting and indirect lighting (scattered by the sky and clouds and/or reflected by local surfaces). This paper mainly focuses on the behaviour of the indirect light scattered under clear sky conditions. Various interaction processes between anthropogenic light sources and the natural environment are discussed. This work mostly relies on a sensitivity analysis conducted with the light pollution radiative transfer model, Illumina (Aubé et al. 2005: Light pollution modelling and detection in a heterogeneous environment: toward a night-time aerosol optical depth retrieval method. In Proc. SPIE 2005, vol. 5890, San Diego, California, USA). More specifically, the impact of (i) the molecular and aerosol scattering and absorption, (ii) the second order of scattering, (iii) the topography and obstacle blocking, (iv) the ground reflectance and (v) the spectrum of light devices and their angular emission functions are examined. This analysis considers different behaviour as a function of the distance from the city centre, along with different zenith viewing angles in the principal plane.