Christopher C. M. Kyba Jacqueline Coesfeld


Hyde et al. previously examined the trends in light emission measured by satellite for 98 communities located in or near areas certified as “International Dark Sky Places” (IDSP), and did not find evidence of a difference in trends in comparison to 98 communities of similar size located further away. Here we re-examine the satellite dataset, making use of a newly available correction for the radiance of atmospheric airglow, and extending the analysis period by an additional two years. The new dataset is consistent with the hypothesis that light emissions tend to decrease in communities in or near certified IDSP (median value of -1.6% per year), and is in tension with the hypothesis that there is no difference between these communities and others located further away (median increase of +0.1% per year). While the null hypothesis of no difference in the certified regions still cannot be entirely ruled out (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test probability of 2.5%), it appears likely that IDSP certification is associated with changes in light emissions.




International Dark Sky Places, remote sensing, VIIRS DNB, nighttime lights, light pollution

[1] International Dark-Sky Association International Dark Sky Places Program. https://www.darksky.org/ our-work/conservation/idsp/, accessed on 2020-10-15.
[2] Hyde, E., Frank, S., Barentine, J. C., Kuechly, H., & Kyba, C. C. (2019). Testing for changes in light emissions from certified International Dark Sky Places. International Journal of Sustainable Lighting, 21(1), 11-19. DOI: 10.26607/ijsl.v21i1.92
[3] Uprety, S., Cao, C., Gu, Y., & Shao, X. (2017, July). Improving the low light radiance calibration of S-NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band in the NOAA operations. In 2017 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) (pp. 4726-4729). IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/IGARSS.2017.8128057
[4] Coesfeld, J., Kuester, T., Kuechly, H. U., & Kyba, C. (2020). Reducing Variability and Removing Natural Light from Nighttime Satellite Imagery: A Case Study Using the VIIRS DNB. Sensors, 20(11), 3287. DOI: 10.3390/s20113287
[5] Miller, S. D., Straka, W., Mills, S. P., Elvidge, C. D., Lee, T. F., Solbrig, J., ... & Weiss, S. C. (2013). Illuminating the capabilities of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band. Remote Sensing, 5(12), 6717-6766. DOI: 10.3390/rs5126717
[6] Elvidge, C. D., Baugh, K. E., Zhizhin, M., & Hsu, F. C. (2013). Why VIIRS data are superior to DMSP for mapping nighttime lights. Proceedings of the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network, 35(0), 62. DOI: 10.7125/APAN.35.7
[7] Coesfeld, J., Kuester, T, Kuechly, H. U.; Kyba, C. C. M. (2020): Background correction for EOG VIIRS-DNB monthly composites (data and scripts). GFZ Data Services. https://doi.org/10.5880/GFZ.1.4.2020.003
[8] Stare, Jurij; Kyba, Kyba, C. C. M. (2019): Radiance Light Trends. GFZ Data Services. DOI: 10.5880/GFZ.1.4.2019.001
[9] Hyde, E., Kyba, C. (2019). Analysis boundaries and lighting trends (2012-2018) for selected International Dark Sky Places. GFZ Data Services, DOI:10.5880/GFZ.1.4.2019.002
[10] Coesfeld, J., Anderson, S., Baugh, K., Elvidge, C., Schernthanner, H., & Kyba, C. (2018). Variation of Individual Location Radiance in VIIRS DNB Monthly Composite Images. Remote Sensing, 10(12), 1964. DOI: 10.3390/rs10121964
[11] Kyba, C.C.M., Kuester, T., de Miguel, A.S., Baugh, K., Jechow, A., Hölker, F., Bennie, J., Elvidge, C.D., Gaston, K.J., Guanter, L. (2017). Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent. Science Advances, 3(11), e1701528. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701528.
[12] Levin, N., & Zhang, Q. (2017). A global analysis of factors controlling VIIRS nighttime light levels from densely populated areas. Remote Sensing of Environment, 190, 366-382. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2017.01.006
[13] Levin, N., Kyba, C. C., Zhang, Q., de Miguel, A. S., Román, M. O., Li, X., ... & Elvidge, C. D. (2020). Remote sensing of night lights: A review and an outlook for the future. Remote Sensing of Environment, 237, 111443. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2019.111443
[14] Barentine, J. (2019) Methods for assessment and monitoring of light pollution around ecologically sensitive sites. Journal of Imaging, 5, 54. DOI: 10.3390/jimaging5050054