A group of experts published a report on light pollution in Poland. Why should the data concern us?
The Light Pollution Think Tank (LPTT) is a group of experts from Poland consisting of scientists, local government representatives, and NGO activists. The group was formed to address the low level of awareness regarding the issue of light pollution in Poland, which is also evident by the absence of legal regulations in this area.
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Five Polish cities "without a real night"
In 2023, LPTT released a report regarding light pollution in Poland. This type of pollution occurs when night-time infrastructure emits light excessively, either at the wrong time, in the wrong direction, with a bad intensity, or in the wrong colour.
The report revealed that as much as 20% of Polish citizens live without experiencing a proper night on a daily basis. Research indicates that the absence of darkness can lead to various adverse effects on physical and psychological well-being. The disruption of the biological clock, driven by light and its absence, can cause sleep and metabolic disorders, concentration problems, and even depression.
According to a report from LPTT, there are five cities in Poland where it never gets truly dark at night. The sky remains bright enough for our eyes to switch into night vision (scotopic) mode. These cities are:
- Warsaw: In the centre of the capital, the brightness reaches more than 6,000% of the natural sky brightness.
- Łódź: Extreme measurements recorded a brightness of more than 4,000% of the natural sky.
- Kraków: The luminosity around the central railway station is 3,400% of the natural sky brightness.
- Poznań: Luminosity reaches 3,700% of the natural sky brightness.
- Wrocław: Achieves a luminosity of 3,500% of the natural sky.
Light pollution not only affects humans but also disrupts the lives of plants and animals. National parks located near cities are particularly vulnerable.
The data analysed by LPTT reflects the situation at the end of 2022. The report's authors warn that light pollution will only worsen in Poland due to the lack of appropriate legal regulations. They call for light to be treated like other polluting emissions.