Night Lights Change in the Middle East 2016Unlike most satellite imagery, views of Earth at night tell a distinctly human story. Lights show where people made their homes, set up industries, and laid down roads. The lack of light usually reflects rural or uninhabited areas, though it can mean there's not enough electricity to keep lights on at night. Such images can indicate economic development or the lack of it. Changing patterns of light can reflect increases or decreases in electricity, as is seen in the differences of lighting between 2012-2016 in Middle Eastern countries such as Syria. The most dramatic changes are around Aleppo, but also extend through western Syria to Damascus. Lighting increased north of the Syrian border in Turkey and in Lebanon. As much as 80% of the lights had gone out in Syria. Night light images have value for humanitarian organizations that use this data to identify areas most in need of aid.
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