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How polluted is the sky over Poland?

11 of January '24

How light-polluted is the Polish sky? The latest report compiled by a team of experts and specialists indicates that in many places in Poland, light disrupts natural processes, which negatively affects not only the ecosystem, but also people. These are disturbing findings.

As part of our #ReportThursday series, we present documents, reports and guides on architecture, cities and local government that are certainly worth publicizing and promoting. This week we look at the report "Light Pollution in Poland," produced by the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Light Pollution Think Tank. The report was compiled by a team consisting of: Agnieszka Machnowska, Dr. Sylwester Kolomanski, Dr. Andrzej Kotarba and Dr. Tomasz Sciężor.

The report is available on the Light Pollution Think Tank website.

raport wydany został przez Centrum Badań Kosmicznych Polskiej Akademii Nauk i Light Polution Think Tank

The report was published by the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Light Pollution Think Tank

© Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Light Pollution Think Tank

The topic of light pollution has featured several times in the pages of A&B. We have talked about legal and technical solutions, as well as why it is important to fight pollution with, among others:

The report compiled by specialists examines not only the state of light pollution, monitoring of this phenomenon, but also the legal situation of the document.

światło emitowane w niebo z obszaru Polski w 2022 roku

Light emitted into the sky from the area of Poland in 2022

© Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Light Pollution Think Tank

how did we lose the night?

What conclusions do the authors and authors of the report come to? The measurement of light emission in the sky in 2022 was based on a compilation of lights recorded by the VIIRS radiometer of the SNPP satellite. 10% of the sum of lights in Poland is the impact of just five municipalities. However, the brightest points on the map in Poland are greenhouses.

Over most of the country, an increase in radiance is evident compared to previous years. 23.3% of the country's area was brighter relative to previous years. Only 5.2% of Poland saw a decrease in radiance. We are shining, very often illogically, more and more.

klasy jasności nocnego nieba nad Polską w 2022 roku

Brightness classes of the night sky over Poland in 2022.

© Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Light Pollution Think Tank

The report notes that the sky over Poland in 2022 was about 6.0% brighter than a decade earlier. In addition, according to the document, Poland no longer has a natural sky. Only 42% of the country's population has the opportunity to see the Milky Way.

In much of the country, the brightening is so high that it practically never becomes an actual night - this negatively affects not only the ecosystem, but also human health, causing a number of civilization diseases. We discussed solutions to this problem with experts: Piotr Nawalkowski, or Katarzyna Szlachetko.

zmiana jasności nocnych świateł w Polsce w 2022 roku

Change in the brightness of night lights in Poland in 2022

© Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Light Pollution Think Tank

lack of consistent law and policy

In addition to addressing radiance and technical issues, the report pointed out the problem of legal regulations, or rather the lack of them. The problem of polluted skies is not comprehensively regulated in Poland. Existing regulations are not sufficient to meet the challenges of the subject.

Activities striving for a sustainable light policy are the domain of several local government units and NGOs - at the central or even provincial level it is difficult to find such solutions.

jasność nocnego nieba nad Polską w 2022 roku

The brightness of the night sky over Poland in 2022

© Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Light Pollution Think Tank

change starts with knowledge

Light pollution will not be a primary problem, even though its solution is not complicated and the standards have long been known. However, change begins with knowledge, used well can help improve the situation, even if light pollution, will continue to affect us for many more years.

The report is available on the Light Pollution Think Tank website.

gminy emitujące najwięcej i najmniej światła w niebo w 2022 roku

Municipalities emitting the most and least light into the sky in 2022

© Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Light Pollution Think Tank

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

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