Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent

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Science Advances  22 Nov 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 11, e1701528
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701528
  • Fig. 1 Geographic patterns in changes in artificial lighting.

    Changes are shown as an annual rate for both lit area (A) and radiance of stably lit areas (B). Annual rates are calculated based on changes over the four year period, that is, Embedded Image, where A2016 is the lit area observed in 2016. See fig. S28 for total radiance change instead of stable light radiance change.

  • Fig. 2 Absolute change in lit area from 2012 to 2016.

    Pixels increasing in area are shown as red, pixels decreasing in area are shown as blue, and pixels with no change in area are shown as yellow. Each pixel has a near-equal area of 6000 ± 35 km2. To ease interpretation, the color scale cuts off at 200 km2, but some pixels had changes of up to ±2000 km2.

  • Fig. 3 Patterns in lit area, radiance, and lighting change for the world and five selected countries.

    (A) The 2014 lit area (in km2) for each (logarithmically spaced) bin of radiance in nWcm−2 sr−1. (B) Normalized cumulative distribution of light in 2016 (that is, what fraction of the total light is emitted below the given radiance). (C) Mean change in radiance from 2012 to 2016 for each bin.

  • Fig. 4 Relationships between light and economic parameters.

    (A) National sum of lights (SOL) per capita compared to per capita GDP, (B) sum of lights versus national GDP, (C) change in lit area from 2012 to 2016 versus change in GDP (one outlier not shown), and (D) change in sum of lights from 2012 to 2016 versus change in GDP. Colors and symbols indicate per capita GDP in 2016: <$2000 (red triangles), $2000 to $6000 (green squares), $6000 to $17,000 (blue stars), and >$17,000 (black circles). Solid lines show an extrapolation based on the value of the median country.

  • Fig. 5 Change in lighting technology in Milan, Italy, observed from space.

    Color astronaut photographs from 2012 (A) and 2015 (B) courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center, with identification and georeferencing by the European Space Agency, the International Astronomical Union, and Cities at Night (48). (C) Change from 2012 to 2016 in the DNB radiance band.

  • Fig. 6 Expansion of DNB lighting from September 2012 (cyan) to September 2016 (red) in Doha, Qatar.

    Newly lit areas are expressed as bright red, as they were not lit (black) in 2012.

  • Fig. 7 Comparison of radiance changes from 2012–2016 in dimly lit areas of Germany and Peru.

    Histograms of radiance changes of pixels in the 5 to 6.1 nWcm−2 sr−1bin for Germany (A) and rapidly brightening Peru (B). Pixels were assigned to this bin on the basis of their radiance in 2014. The vertical line shows the value of 1 (no change from 2012 to 2016).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/3/11/e1701528/DC1

    fig. S1. Normalized cumulative radiance distribution for Afghanistan through Ghana.

    fig. S2. Normalized cumulative radiance distribution for Greece through Paraguay.

    fig. S3. Normalized cumulative radiance distribution for Peru through Zimbabwe.

    fig. S4. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, and Armenia.

    fig. S5. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, and Belgium.

    fig. S6. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, and Brunei.

    fig. S7. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, and Chad.

    fig. S8. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, and Cote d’Ivoire.

    fig. S9. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, and Dominican Republic.

    fig. S10. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, and Ethiopia.

    fig. S11. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gaza Strip, Georgia, Germany, and Ghana.

    fig. S12. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, and Honduras.

    fig. S13. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, and Italy.

    fig. S14. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Kyrgyzstan.

    fig. S15. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, and Lithuania.

    fig. S16. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, and Malta.

    fig. S17. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, and Montenegro.

    fig. S18. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, and New Zealand.

    fig. S19. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, and Panama.

    fig. S20. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, and Romania.

    fig. S21. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Serbia and Montenegro.

    fig. S22. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, and South Africa.

    fig. S23. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Sudan.

    fig. S24. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, and Tanzania.

    fig. S25. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Thailand, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

    fig. S26. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, UK, the United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu.

    fig. S27. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

    fig. S28. Annual changes in lit area and total radiance.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • fig. S1. Normalized cumulative radiance distribution for Afghanistan through Ghana.
    • fig. S2. Normalized cumulative radiance distribution for Greece through Paraguay.
    • fig. S3. Normalized cumulative radiance distribution for Peru through Zimbabwe.
    • fig. S4. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, and Armenia.
    • fig. S5. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, and Belgium.
    • fig. S6. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, and Brunei.
    • fig. S7. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, and Chad.
    • fig. S8. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, and Cote d’Ivoire.
    • fig. S9. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, and Dominican Republic.
    • fig. S10. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, and Ethiopia.
    • fig. S11. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gaza Strip, Georgia, Germany, and Ghana.
    • fig. S12. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, and Honduras.
    • fig. S13. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, and Italy.
    • fig. S14. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Kyrgyzstan.
    • fig. S15. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, and Lithuania.
    • fig. S16. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, and Malta.
    • fig. S17. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, and Montenegro.
    • fig. S18. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, and New Zealand.
    • fig. S19. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, and Panama.
    • fig. S20. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, and Romania.
    • fig. S21. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Serbia and Montenegro.
    • fig. S22. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, and South Africa.
    • fig. S23. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Sudan.
    • fig. S24. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, and Tanzania.
    • fig. S25. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Thailand, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.
    • fig. S26. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, UK, the United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu.
    • fig. S27. Lit area (2014) and radiance change (2012–2016) in Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Bank, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
    • fig. S28. Annual changes in lit area and total radiance.

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