Light Pollution Across UK Declines Significantly Thanks To Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected human life for more than a year.  However, on the brighter side, the pandemic has helped in reducing pollution. Over the last year, a significant drop in light pollution has been witnessed across the United Kingdom.

CPRE the countryside charity (formerly known as the Campaign to Protect Rural England) has found that the light pollution level in the United Kingdom is much lower in 2021 than it was in 2020 at the same time of the year. 

Also Read: Light Pollution from Artificial Satellites Obstruct Astronomical Observations

A star count that was conducted across the UK in February 2021 has revealed that around 51 percent of people have noted ten or fewer stars as compared to 61 percent in the previous year. Between 6 to 14 February, CPRE collected around 8,000 counts. 

Five percent of participants noted more than 30 or more stars that indicate clear dark skies, highest since 2013.  The full set of results has been shown in CRPE interactive map launched by International Dark-Sky Association (IDSA). The Association raises awareness about light pollution’s impact.

Light Pollution in United Kingdom Declines Significantly amid lockdown

Image: Pixabay

Chief Executive of CPRE, the countryside charity Crispin Truman said,

It’s been an absolutely stellar year for Star Count. We had three times as many people taking part compared to previous years and I’m delighted to see severe light pollution in the appears to have fallen. It’s likely this is an unintended positive consequence of lockdown, as our nighttime habits have changed. Let’s hope we can hold onto some of this achievement as we unlock.

Executive Director, IDSA, Ruskin Hartley said that reducing light pollution could help in encountering an unpolluted night sky, leading to unhindered astrophysical discoveries as well. Experts have attributed this change to nationwide lockdowns across the world that followed the coronavirus outbreak.

This significant drop in the level of light pollution can be attributed to lockdown. The reduction in human activities has led to a decrease in pollution. Similarly, air pollution level across the UK has also decreased due to the very same reasons.

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