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Samantha J Wright
Attended Cheadle High School
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10 WAYS LIGHT POLLUTION HARMS THE WORLD

10. Light Pollution Is Decimating Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles spend almost their entire lives in the ocean, but they do come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand. Then, when the young turtles hatch, they engage in a desperate scramble to reach the water before becoming a snack for various predators. But with hotels, restaurants, and houses taking up much of the world’s beachfront property, turtles are increasingly at risk on both occasions.

Female turtles looking for a place to lay their eggs won’t do so if the lights are too bright. If she fails to find a dark spot after several tries, the turtle will resort to suboptimal locations, and the young will have little chance to survive. The new-born turtles themselves make use of moonlight to guide them to the shore. Artificial light can turn them around, where they often wander right into the path of predators or cars. Thousands of young sea turtles are killed each year in Florida (which constitutes nearly 90 percent of America’s sea turtle nests) due to artificial lighting.

A program called the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) seeks to educate people on the need for proper lighting on beachfront property. If you live near a coast, STC recommends using yellow, amber, or red lights so as not to disturb turtle populations, as well as keeping lights low to the ground and shielded. As of 2014, STC and Florida authorities are working together on enforcing new rules requiring property owners to turn off or reposition lights while turtle season is in effect.

9. It Disrupts The Breeding Cycles Of Amphibians

Wherever there are wetlands nearby, the night-time chirping of frogs is one of the ubiquitous sounds of spring. But light pollution may one day make those voices go still.

Most amphibian species are nocturnal and water-dependent (even most toads have to go back to the water to breed). Because of this water-dependency, they have difficulty relocating in response to disruptions in their home areas. As nocturnal animals, they mark changing information in their environment by their photoperiods (the amount of time in a 24-hour period that they are exposed to sunlight). The photoperiod, which many animals use, is the only constant amphibians have to tell them when it is time to reproduce or hibernate and they are acutely sensitive to it.

Thanks to artificial light, many amphibians have demonstrated both physical and behavioural disruptions, including the disruption of their ability to know when to return home and breed. This means they miss the opportunity to reproduce. Many types of amphibians are currently facing population declines and light pollution is a big part of the problem.

8. It’s Devastating To Bats

Bats feed on insect species that annoy and infect us, and are one of nature’s great sources of insect population control. But light pollution also effects them, to the point that populations are declining. Not all bat species are significantly impacted, but many species are extremely light-averse, and are repelled by streetlights and other artificial sources. Because insects are attracted to artificial light, which some bat species will not enter, bats lose many opportunities to feed. The situation is made even worse since the areas that the bats are willing to enter contain fewer insects than they normally would. This can disrupt entire bat colonies. Artificial lighting can also delay bats’ emergence from their roosts until well past dusk - an extremely important feeding time for most species.

A study in Britain, where it is illegal to kill or capture bats due to recent declines, has shown that in areas where important foraging habitats are artificially illuminated (especially through floodlighting) some species of bats won’t enter at all. This means that roads act as barriers to bat-crossing and woodland paths, rivers, and streams - where many insects gather at night - are denied to them. The problem is severe enough that the use of lighting on some properties may sometimes constitute a criminal offense unless British conservation authorities are consulted for advice.

7. It Disrupts The Migratory Patterns Of Fish

Many fish migrate to spawn their young, often moving from oceans to lakes or along rivers. But studies have demonstrated that street lighting from nearby cities can disrupt these migratory patterns.

In 2012, a study compared a control group of Atlantic salmon smolts to a group under simulated artificial light conditions. The study found that for the control, migration occurred at sunset. But the second group migrated randomly, apparently confused by the lighting conditions. This can negatively impact fitness. In addition, since young salmon emerge at night in order to avoid predators, random changes in migration times result in more predation.

It gets worse - further studies have shown that public lighting, especially at night, can affect foraging, predation, shoaling, and reproductive success in general. Not only is this bad for marine ecology, it’s bad for the fishing industry, who don’t help themselves by using floodlit boats at night to attract fish species from miles around, often catching species they don’t want. Other species which are probably affected include trout and sea trout, barbell, graylings, eels, and lampreys.

6. It Can Damage Trees

Have you ever walked through a city in the autumn and noticed a tree with no leaves except for where it faces a streetlight? The effect can be quite dramatic and the reason behind it is ominous. During the autumn season, many trees go into a period of dormancy to ride out the long winter months. That’s why trees shed leaves - to conserve as much energy as possible to survive the winter. They determine when to begin the process based on photoperiods. Night lighting (especially light along the red to infrared spectrums) effectively extends the day for many plants. Since angiosperms (flowering plants, including most trees) determine things like dormancy, flowering, and growth based upon the amount of uninterrupted darkness that falls upon them, this can have wide-ranging repercussions, including unsafe periods of non-dormancy.

Photoperiods also influence leaf shape, surface hairiness (pubescence), pigmentation, and root development, all of which impact fitness, and all of which can potentially be disrupted by light pollution. Of course, anything that impacts flowering plants also impacts pollinating insects. And since one third of our entire food supply depends on pollinators, it impacts all of us as well.

5. Migrating Birds Are Lured To Their Deaths

With the possible exception of our own health issues, no consequence of light pollution has attracted public attention more than the plight of birds. Many species of birds are nocturnal and migratory, dependent on the setting sun, the moon, and the night sky to navigate by. Bright lights at night can confuse birds into thinking they are flying towards these navigators instead of straight into a building. These collisions can kill the birds outright and even stunned birds often fall victim to predators. Researchers blame collisions with illuminated buildings for declines in songbird numbers - and a corresponding increase in scavengers such as rats and seagulls, which feed on the dead bodies.

How bad is it? Chicago’s Hancock Centre has recently doused its night lighting in an effort to spare nearly 1,500 birds that are killed each night when they collide with the tower during migration season. Even more dramatically, on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, New York commemorated the tragedy by shining two massive lights into the air where the World Trade Centre once stood. The resulting swarm of thousands of birds trapped within the lights illuminated the problem for all to see.

4. Artificial Light And Insects

Everyone has witnessed the familiar sight of a street or porch light swarming with insects at night, so much so that “like a moth to a flame” has come to mean an irresistible attraction. For insects, that is exactly what it is - many insect species are unstoppably drawn to artificial lights. Once within the light’s radius they find it difficult, if not impossible, to escape. This is because many insects, especially nocturnal ones, use natural light sources like the moon for navigation. Artificial lights confuse the cues they use to fly by.

Both normal flight activity and migratory patterns are disrupted, and insects are killed in great numbers by the heat of the lights or by predators who find an easy meal. These numbers are great enough to affect insect diversity - and if a species can’t reproduce fast enough, it may vanish from an area entirely.

There is another important problem associated with insects and light pollution - disease. Researchers believe that some disease-carrying species may have adapted to be attracted to artificial light as a cue that humans are in the area. Regardless, links have been established between light pollution and the spread of disease by insects such as mosquitoes (malaria, dengue, West Nile virus), sand flies (leishmaniasis), and kissing bugs (Chagas disease). In the case of mosquitoes, which are not usually attracted to light themselves, artificial lights allow people to stay outside later, thus exposing them during the mosquito’s most active period.

3. It’s Making Our Minds Go Haywire

In 2011, researchers conducted a study on the effects of artificial lighting on mice - and their conclusions had ominous implications for us humans. Mice that were separated from the natural day/night cycle showed signs that their minds were going haywire. Mice kept on a 20-hour light cycle showed neurological alterations in emotional centres, grew to have difficulty navigating mazes, and were spooked by new environments. Their bodies also suffered, growing obese and developing altered levels of insulin and leptin, two metabolic hormones.

All living creatures, including humans, have an “internal clock” called the circadian rhythm, which is roughly structured to the natural 24-hour day. The amount of light present is conveyed to circadian systems by a pigment called melanopsin, which we now know is found in the human retina (until as recently as the 1980s, some scientists incorrectly believed that humans might be immune to the effects of the circadian cycle).

This natural rhythm tells our body many things: when to be wakeful, when to rest, when organs should be more active, when to eat, when to digest, and thousands of other instructions. Our moods, which are strongly affected by the production of hormones in our body, are also heavily influenced by our circadian cycle. And like the mice in the study, our minds and bodies are being negatively influenced by artificial lighting, with sleep disorders, behavioural problems, and mood disruptions becoming the order of the day. There are other psychological effects to consider as well. Many researchers and scientist believe that our reduced ability to experience the night and look up at the stars is having a negative effect on our internal well-being.

In 2013, another study suggested that indoor lighting is affecting the melatonin levels (another “timekeeper,” among other things) in our bodies, causing us to feel drowsy at inappropriate times. In an experiment, they sent groups of “early birds” and “night owls” to camp out with only sunlight and campfires for illumination. Both groups’ circadian rhythms quickly shifted to align with the sun. The researchers theorized that the morning drowsiness experienced by many is caused by indoor lighting interfering with this cycle. They recommend exposing yourself to natural lighting as much as possible and dimming unneeded houselights a few hours before sleep.

2. It Can Wreck Our Physical Health As Well

It isn’t just our minds and moods that are at risk - light pollution has become such a pervasive human health issue that the American Medical Association (AMA) recently passed a resolution declaring it responsible for a host of physical problems. The resolution states that the increased amount of light in the world, including streetlight glare and ambient light “intruding” into windows, has links to breast cancer and depresses immune systems. It also has indirect health effects. Increased glare makes it harder to see, resulting in more traffic deaths at night. The AMA estimates that more than US$10 billion a year could be saved if an effective program to reduce light pollution was implemented.

The Council of Europe has also stated that light pollution is linked to diabetes, depression, failure at school, and difficulties in concentrating, and we know that there is a link between artificial light and obesity as well. Artificial lighting has even been linked to a disruption in the development of the circadian system in new-born infants.

Breast cancer is perhaps the most dangerous health problem associated with light pollution. In 2001, a study found a strong link between women who had worked over 30 years of night shifts and an increased rate of the condition.

1. LEDs May Be Making It Worse

Fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of the wide range of problems caused by light pollution. Even better, it’s one of the environmental problems that could actually be tackled fairly easily. New energy-efficient LED technology is making it possible to replace inefficient street lighting with shaped, glare-less lights that have the potential to greatly reduce the impact on local wildlife. LEDs may cost more, but they last far longer than sodium lights, use a fraction of the energy of both sodium and incandescent lighting, and do not contain mercury like fluorescents. Their wavelengths are also far less disturbing for many species of wildlife. What’s not to like?

But the solution for animals may create an even bigger problem for us. Blue-rich LEDs increase the amount of light pollution the human eye is exposed to, increasing the risks mentioned in the previous two entries. The blue wavelengths of most LEDs mimic the light of the early-morning sun, signalling the brain that it should be waking up (so all those gadgets in your house are sending you exactly the wrong signals at night). Researchers writing for the Journal of Applied Ecology estimate that LED outdoor lighting could severely worsen the effects of light pollution. Most agree that effective light shielding, rather than a certain type of lighting, is our best option.

By Lance David LeClaire, Listverse
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Samantha J Wright

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Just finished this painting - 'Fields of Gold' acrylic on canvas A4 size. £35. Signed original 
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Beautiful sam
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Hi one and all! Just finished another painting based on Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. 'The Couple' is painted in acrylic on a 70 x 50 cms canvas. £95 postage extra. It would make a perfect present for a loved one. But if not perhaps you can share this post for me anyway. I'd be super pleased if you could.  Thanks
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A handy guide to Northern Irish for Courtney Cox!
Yesterday we learned that former Friends actress Courtney Cox sometimes struggles with the accent of her Northern Irish boyfriend, Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol. We thought we'd help her out, so here's a few words she might think she recognises, that have a totally different meaning ove
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Incredible!
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Have her in circles
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For those of you who like a little abstract...
'Trajectory' 
acrylic on 50x50cm canvas
£120
Paypal accepted
All my own original signed work
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I can see someone swimming or surfing under a wave ;)
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For more information about my work or to enquire about commissions go to www.samanthajwright.com
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Contact me for further details
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A new piece done over the weekend - Belfast Cathedral Quarter. It measures 50 x 40cm. It's acrylic on canvas. I'm asking £75 for it. If anyone is interested PM me.
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My Titanic drawing is now going under the hammer in a three day auction. The starting bid is £50. Remember, this is an original one of a kind artwork.
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Revamping websites isn't easy but thanks to me finding a vein of patience I didn't even know I had and the help of Jim Montgomery​ my refurbed website is looking pretty good.  Take a look x 
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Have her in circles
621 people
Amber Sass's profile photo
Tara Ross's profile photo
slim matoui's profile photo
Kevin Fraleigh's profile photo
More For Less Online's profile photo
Emily Hainsworth's profile photo
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  • Cheadle High School
    1993
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My first impressions were the place smelt bad and it was dark and dingy. But as we had booked over the phone using our tastecard+ we decided to give it a chance. We ordered drinks which the waiter brought to us promptly. His manner was polite and affable. But this did not seem to soothe the people sitting next to us who had waited over half an hour for their food. They left a few minutes later - still hungry I might add. I thought perhaps they were just fussy - the complaining type. So we ordered our food and hoped for the best. Within the space of ten to fifteen minutes my beef bourguignon with mash appeared followed by my sons seafood risotto. The bourguignon was passable, the risotto was dreadful. Slimy, bland and covered in some sort of bitter unidentifiable salad leaves. There was also a piece of fried bread on the side. A heel. I suspect it was meant to be sundried tomato but it tasted like it had been flavoured with out of date ketchup. Three quarters of the way through my meal they brought me the root vegetables that were my chosen accompaniment. Perhaps they intended it as a dessert? The worst disappointment was yet to come. After booking via the tastecard, I then found out AFTERWARDS that they do not accept the Tastecard for the lunchtime menu. Only the A la Carte menu. Strange considering we had booked using the Tastecard for a lunch time booking that no one bothered to tell us until it was time to pay??? Their explanation was that it says clearly on the website that this is one of the terms of the offer. I found this hard to believe as I had been on the website only half an hour earlier and had seen no such thing. I paid FULL price even though I had booked with the 50% discount card and went home to check the website again. The bottom line is; NO ONE MADE THIS CLEAR. The website says: Please Note: The tastecard discount is not available on Celebration Days including Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day etc. The discount does not apply to the Sunday Roast menu. So I called the Hotel. They squirmed out it by saying that somewhere....on the website it says 'cannot be used in conjunction with other offers.' I've yet to find this page AND they had the cheek to say I hadn't mentioned the Tastecard in the first place. Calling your customers liars is not advisable guys! And what other offers? It was a lunchtime menu. Nothing more. Awful customer service. I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy. Do yourself a favour and go just a little bit further afield to The Jamaica Inn where they do a delicious Chorizo and prawn linguine or if you have the Tastecard go to The Governor Rocks in Donaghadee. Shabby chic, awesome value, great tasting food.
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