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Cao, C., Shao, X., & Uprety, S. (2013). Detecting Light Outages After Severe Storms Using the S-NPP/VIIRS Day/Night Band Radiances. IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lett., 10(6), 1582–1586.
Abstract: Power outages after a major storm affect the lives of millions of people and cause massive light outages. The launch of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite with the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) significantly enhances our capability to monitor and detect light outages with the well-calibrated day/night band (DNB) and to use light loss signatures as indication of regional power outages. This study explores the use of the DNB in quantifying light outages due to the derecho storm in the Washington DC metropolitan area in June 2012 and Hurricane Sandy at the end of October 2012 on the East Coast of U.S. The results show that the DNB data are very useful in detecting power outages by quantifying light loss, but it also has some challenges due to clouds, lunar illumination, and straylight effect. Comparison of light outage and recovery trend determined from DNB data with power company survey shows reasonable agreement, demonstrating the usefulness of DNB in independently verifying and complementing the statistics from power companies.
Fuller, G. (Ed.). (2013). The Night Shift: Lighting and Nocturnal Strepsirrhine Care in Zoos. Ph.D. thesis, , .
Abstract: Over billions of years of evolution, light from the sun, moon, and stars has provided
organisms with reliable information about the passage of time. Photic cues entrain
the circadian system, allowing animals to perform behaviors critical for survival and
reproduction at optimal times. Modern artificial lighting has drastically altered
environmental light cues. Evidence is accumulating that exposure to light at night
(particularly blue wavelengths) from computer screens, urban light pollution, or as
an occupational hazard of night-shift work has major implications for human health.
Nocturnal animals are the shift workers of zoos; they are generally housed on
reversed light cycles so that daytime visitors can observe their active behaviors. As a
result, they are exposed to artificial light throughout their subjective night. The goal
of this investigation was to examine critically the care of nocturnal strepsirrhine
primates in North American zoos, focusing on lorises (Loris and Nycticebus spp.) and pottos (Perodicticus potto). The general hypothesis was that exhibit lighting design affects activity patterns and circadian physiology in nocturnal strepsirrhines. The
first specific aim was to assess the status of these populations. A multi-institutional husbandry survey revealed little consensus among zoos in lighting design, with both red and blue light commonly used for nocturnal illumination. A review of medical records also revealed high rates of neonate mortality. The second aim was to
develop methods for measuring the effects of exhibit lighting on behavior and
health. The use of actigraphy for automated activity monitoring was explored.
Methods were also developed for measuring salivary melatonin and cortisol as
indicators of circadian disruption. Finally, a multi-institutional study was conducted
comparing behavioral and endocrine responses to red and blue dark phase lighting.
These results showed greater activity levels in strepsirrhines housed under red light than blue. Salivary melatonin concentrations in pottos suggested that blue light
suppressed nocturnal melatonin production at higher intensities, but evidence for
circadian disruption was equivocal. These results add to the growing body of
evidence on the detrimental effects of blue light at night and are a step towards
empirical recommendations for nocturnal lighting design in zoos.
Nordt, A., & Klenke, R. (2013). Sleepless in town--drivers of the temporal shift in dawn song in urban European blackbirds. PLoS One, 8(8), e71476.
Abstract: Organisms living in urban environments are exposed to different environmental conditions compared to their rural conspecifics. Especially anthropogenic noise and artificial night light are closely linked to urbanization and pose new challenges to urban species. Songbirds are particularly affected by these factors, because they rely on the spread of acoustic information and adjust their behaviour to the rhythm of night and day, e.g. time their dawn song according to changing light intensities. Our aim was to clarify the specific contributions of artificial night light and traffic noise on the timing of dawn song of urban European Blackbirds (Turdus merula). We investigated the onset of blackbird dawn song along a steep urban gradient ranging from an urban forest to the city centre of Leipzig, Germany. This gradient of anthropogenic noise and artificial night light was reflected in the timing of dawn song. In the city centre, blackbirds started their dawn song up to 5 hours earlier compared to those in semi-natural habitats. We found traffic noise to be the driving factor of the shift of dawn song into true night, although it was not completely separable from the effects of ambient night light. We additionally included meteorological conditions into the analysis and found an effect on the song onset. Cloudy and cold weather delayed the onset, but cloud cover was assumed to reflect night light emissions, thus, amplified sky luminance and increased the effect of artificial night light. Beside these temporal effects, we also found differences in the spatial autocorrelation of dawn song onset showing a much higher variability in noisy city areas than in rural parks and forests. These findings indicate that urban hazards such as ambient noise and light pollution show a manifold interference with naturally evolved cycles and have significant effects on the activity patterns of urban blackbirds.
Grundy, A., Richardson, H., Burstyn, I., Lohrisch, C., SenGupta, S. K., Lai, A. S., et al. (2013). Increased risk of breast cancer associated with long-term shift work in Canada. Occup Environ Med, 70(12), 831–838.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Long-term night work has been suggested as a risk factor for breast cancer; however, additional studies with more comprehensive methods of exposure assessment to capture the diversity of shift patterns are needed. As well, few previous studies have considered the role of hormone receptor subtype. METHODS: Relationships between night shift work and breast cancer were examined among 1134 breast cancer cases and 1179 controls, frequency-matched by age in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Kingston, Ontario. Self-reported lifetime occupational histories were assessed for night shift work, and hormone receptor status obtained from tumour pathology records. RESULTS: With approximately one-third of cases and controls ever employed in night shift work, associations with duration demonstrated no relationship between either 0-14 or 15-29 years, while an association was apparent for >/=30 years (OR=2.21, 95% CI 1.14 to 4.31). This association with long-term night shift work is robust to alternative definitions of prolonged shift work, with similar results for both health and non-health care workers. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term night shift work in a diverse mix of occupations is associated with increased breast cancer risk and not limited to nurses, as in most previous studies.
Cho, J. R., Joo, E. Y., Koo, D. L., & Hong, S. B. (2013). Let there be no light: the effect of bedside light on sleep quality and background electroencephalographic rhythms. Sleep Med, 14(12), 1422–1425.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Artificial lighting has been beneficial to society, but unnecessary light exposure at night may cause various health problems. We aimed to investigate how whole-night bedside light can affect sleep quality and brain activity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Ten healthy sleepers underwent two polysomnography (PSG) sessions, one with the lights off and one with the lights on. PSG variables related to sleep quality were extracted and compared between lights-off and lights-on sleep. Spectral analysis was performed to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep epochs to reveal any light-induced differences in background brain rhythms. RESULTS: Lights-on sleep was associated with increased stage 1 sleep (N1), decreased slow-wave sleep (SWS), and increased arousal index. Spectral analysis revealed that theta power (4-8Hz) during REM sleep and slow oscillation (0.5-1Hz), delta (1-4Hz), and spindle (10-16Hz) power during NREM sleep were decreased in lights-on sleep conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Sleeping with the light on not only causes shallow sleep and frequent arousals but also has a persistent effect on brain oscillations, especially those implicated in sleep depth and stability. Our study demonstrates additional hazardous effect of light pollution on health.