Saturday, March 31, 2012

Europe at Night: 1992 vs. 2010

Appropriate photo on the day of "Earth Hour."

15 Comments:

At 3/31/2012 9:25 PM, Blogger Sheldon Townsend said...

Yeah, I'm thinkin' that's just better satellite imagery, very little if any actual change in the amount of light.

 
At 3/31/2012 9:31 PM, Blogger Tim said...

There is a tremendous increase in the amount of light. Remember, the light rays had to travel through much more CO2 in 2010 in order to be detected by the satellite.

 
At 3/31/2012 9:34 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

It's interesting how the brightest part of the continent seems to be what used to be Middle Francia.

 
At 3/31/2012 10:53 PM, Blogger 22Minutes said...

I'll buy into the better imagery comment. But one must condede that Eastern Europe (except Slovakia) is much brighter since the wall came down.

 
At 3/31/2012 11:03 PM, OpenID eh1mnwy said...

@Tim: CO2 absorbs electromagnetic radiation at around 1400, 1600, and 2000 nanometers whereas visible light is about 390 to 750 nanometers — there is no overlap. This is just another way of saying that visible light is not absorbed by CO2. It is in part because of this that CO2 is considered to be a greenhouse gas, as all of the high energy radiation from the sun is able to pass undeterred to the land and water surfaces of the Earth where they are converted by absorption into heat which is then trapped by those gases which absorb or reflect in the infrared.

 
At 3/31/2012 11:28 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Moldova seems to be the only place to get darker.

 
At 4/01/2012 6:13 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

images like these are fascinating but perhaps misleading.

what are the actual sources of night lights?

does the imagery, for instance, show residential lighting as much as it shows public infrastructure lighting?

you can verify some of this yourself if you fly at night... take a look out the window as you are coming in for a landing and the light sources become more clear as you drop down lower in altitude.

what would be perhaps more interesting would be to compare for a given area...population increase verses light sources/intensity increase.

 
At 4/01/2012 2:24 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"...the light rays had to travel through much more CO2 in 2010 in order to be detected by the satellite"...

ROFLMAO!

Thanks tim...

 
At 4/01/2012 2:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"what would be perhaps more interesting would be to compare for a given area...population increase verses light sources/intensity increase"...

Go for it larry g!

 
At 4/01/2012 3:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/01/2012 3:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"images like these are fascinating but perhaps misleading."

Or perhaps just incomplete. I just know there is more light, but not the source.

"does the imagery, for instance, show residential lighting as much as it shows public infrastructure lighting?"

I'm not sure why I would care, or what possible difference it makes.

"you can verify some of this yourself if you fly at night..."

Fly? Anyone interested in saving the planet wouldn't consider flying - unless your name is Algore.

"what would be perhaps more interesting would be to compare for a given area...population increase verses light sources/intensity increase."

I'm not sure there's enough interest in that idea to warrant the incredible amount of effort (money) required to collect that information, and, If there was, what use could anyone make of? What conclusions could they draw?

juandos is right: If you are very interested in such a project, go for it. Be aware, though, that I, and apparently juandos, aren't at all interested in funding such a project.

 
At 4/01/2012 8:24 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yeah, I'm thinkin' that's just better satellite imagery, very little if any actual change in the amount of light.

which is, in itself, a light :)

 
At 4/02/2012 11:19 AM, Blogger markbahner said...

"Remember, the light rays had to travel through much more CO2 in 2010 in order to be detected by the satellite."

In the event this wasn't a joke...CO2 absorbs light in the infrared wavelengths, not the visible wavelengths.

Demonstration of CO2 absorbing infrared light

 
At 4/02/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger cliffwarren said...

It must be because of the incandescent light bulb ban. Each incandescent has been replaced by three CFLs.

 
At 4/02/2012 3:28 PM, Blogger cliffwarren said...

It must be because of the incandescent light bulb ban. Each incandescent has been replaced by three CFLs.

 

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