A global atlas of artificial light at night under the sea

Smyth, TJ, Wright, AE, McKee, D, Tidau, S, Tamir, R, Dubinsky, Z, Iluz, D and Davies, TW 2021 A global atlas of artificial light at night under the sea. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 9 (1). https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.2021.00049

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/elementa.2021.00049


The impacts of artificial light at night (ALAN) on marine ecosystems have emerged as a focus for ecological light pollution research in recent years, yet the global prevalence of ALAN in underwater marine ecosystems is unknown. We have derived a global atlas of ALAN throughout the marine water column that will accelerate our understanding of its sources and environmental impacts. At a depth of 1 m, 1.9 million km2 of the world’s coastal seas are exposed to biologically important ALAN, which equates to around 3.1% of the global exclusive economic zones.This area decreases to 1.6 million km2 (2.7%) at a depth of 10 m, and to 840,000 km2 (1.4%) at 20 m.The most heavily exposed regions are those that experience intensive offshore development in addition to coastal urbanization.The atlas highlights that ALAN as a global change issue is not exclusive to land but is also widespread in the world’s underwater habitats at irradiances that elicit biological responses in marine organisms.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Artificial light at night, Pollution, Ecological response, Ecosystem stressors, Ocean optics, Remote sensing
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Other (PML)
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 23 Dec 2021 10:36
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 14:33
URI: https://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9496

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