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Assessing Light Pollution in China Based on Nighttime Light Imagery

by Wei Jiang 1,2, Guojin He 1,3,4,*, Tengfei Long 1,3,4, Chen Wang 5, Yuan Ni 1,6 and Ruiqi Ma 7,8
Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Key Laboratory of Earth Observation Hainan Province, Sanya 572029, China
Sanya Institute of Remote Sensing, Sanya 572029, China
Satellite Environment Center, Ministry to Environmental Protection, Beijing 100094, China
Spatial Information Research Center of Fujian, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350002, China
State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
School of Lisiguang, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xiaofeng Li, Bailang Yu and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(2), 135;
Received: 19 November 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Remote Sensing with Nighttime Lights)
Rapid urbanization and economic development inevitably lead to light pollution, which has become a universal environmental issue. In order to reveal the spatiotemporal patterns and evolvement rules of light pollution in China, images from 1992 to 2012 were selected from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) and systematically corrected to ensure consistency. Furthermore, we employed a linear regression trend method and nighttime light index method to demonstrate China’s light pollution characteristics across national, regional, and provincial scales, respectively. We found that: (1) China’s light pollution expanded significantly in provincial capital cities over the past 21 years and hot-spots of light pollution were located in the eastern coastal region. The Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei regions have formed light pollution stretch areas; (2) China’s light pollution was mainly focused in areas of north China (NC) and east China (EC), which, together, accounted for over 50% of the light pollution for the whole country. The fastest growth of light pollution was observed in northwest China (NWC), followed by southwest China (SWC). The growth rates of east China (EC), central China (CC), and northeast China (NEC) were stable, while those of north China (NC) and south China (SC) declined; (3) Light pollution at the provincial scale was mainly located in the Shandong, Guangdong, and Hebei provinces, whereas the fastest growth of light pollution was in Tibet and Hainan. However, light pollution levels in the developed provinces (Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai, and Tianjin) were higher than those of the undeveloped provinces. Similarly, the light pollution heterogeneities of Taiwan, Beijing, and Shanghai were higher than those of undeveloped western provinces. View Full-Text
Keywords: light pollution; nighttime light; DMSP/OLS; nighttime light index; China light pollution; nighttime light; DMSP/OLS; nighttime light index; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiang, W.; He, G.; Long, T.; Wang, C.; Ni, Y.; Ma, R. Assessing Light Pollution in China Based on Nighttime Light Imagery. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 135.

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