Wednesday, February 4, 2009

polarized light pollution

I just learned about polarized light pollution via this post on I've talked about the ramifications of regular ol' light pollution on nocturnal species but little did I know, artificial polarized light reflecting from shiny urban surfaces like buildings and car windows is confusing wildlife. Birds and insects are mistaking these surfaces as bodies of water. A study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment offered an example of the disruptive effects of polarized light pollution: "Turtles frequently ingest plastic, especially transparent plastic bags, because they confuse the polarized light from them as that from prey."

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