This photograph, taken by the astronaut Randy “Komrade” Bresnik from the International Space Station (ISS), shows nighttime lights over Japan on November 6, 2017. The lights are concentrated around three of the country’s main cities: Tokyo (top group), Nagoya (middle) and Osaka (below).
The Greater Tokyo area, home to more more than 30 million inhabitants, is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. However, Tokyo has a smaller energy consumption per capita compared to other megacities such as New York. Primary energy consumption across the country has declined over the past decade due to improved energy efficiency and conservation of energy and changes in economic growth. Renewable energy sources, such as solar power, are rapidly replacing fossil fuels, with the country aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% between 2013 and 2030. Overall, Japan was the fifth largest energy consumer in the world in 2019.
The researchers used nighttime light imagery to better understand human activity. Pictures can reveal …
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