Noam Levin

Noam Levin
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | HUJI · Department of Geography

PhD, 2006

About

146
Publications
61,089
Reads
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5,629
Citations
Introduction
Noam Levin is a Professor and Head of the Remote Sensing Lab since 2008. He studies geographical and environmental patterns and processes of land cover changes in the face of human and climate induced changes using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools. Noam has published more than 90 peer reviewed articles on these and other related topics. In his work he combines field work, remote sensing of satellite images, spatial analysis of GIS layers, statistical analyses and modelling. Noam’s current research focuses on remote sensing of night lights as indicators of human activity, wildfires, conservation planning over spatial scales from local to global, landscape ecology, historical geography and aeolian processes.
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - present
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Position
  • Teaching and Research
Description
  • Associate Professor
January 2007 - December 2007
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Remote sensing and biodiversity
Description
  • Rothschild post-doc fellow
January 2006 - December 2006
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Position
  • Coastal dune processes in NE Brazil
Description
  • Kreitman post-doc fellow

Publications

Publications (146)
Article
Full-text available
The spatial and angular emission patterns of artificial and natural light emitted, scattered, and reflected from the Earth at night are far more complex than those for scattered and reflected solar radiation during daytime. In this commentary, we use examples to show that there is additional information contained in the angular distribution of emit...
Article
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Accurate information on port shipping activities is critical for monitoring global and local traffic flows and assessing the state of development of the maritime industry. Such information is necessary for managers and analysts to make strategic decisions and monitor the maritime industry in achieving management goals. In this study, we used monthl...
Article
Rapid climate change is impacting biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human well‐being. Though the magnitude and trajectory of climate change are becoming clearer, our understanding of how these changes reshape terrestrial life zones—distinct biogeographic units characterized by biotemperature, precipitation, and aridity representing broad‐scale...
Article
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Childhood exposure to nitrogen oxides (NOx) is considered a risk factor for the onset of asthma. However, associations of this exposure with other atopic diseases and factors that modify this association are less clear. We aimed to study associations between exposure to NOx and the prevalence of atopic diseases in Israeli adolescents using a cross-...
Article
In many cases, protected areas are placed opportunistically and do not fully capture the representation of ecological components for achieving biodiversity conservation goals. In marine systems, where threats and biodiversity are inherently multidimensional and include vertical depth gradients, the designation of protected areas can be more challen...
Data
In the summer of 2019-2020, Australia experienced its most severe season of wildfires. In our paper, (Levin, N., Yebra, M., Phinn, S. (2021) Unveiling the factors responsible for Australia’s Black Summer fires of 2019/2020. Fire, 4(3):58. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4030058 ), we analyzed the largest wildfires of Australia's Black Summer (> 100 sq....
Article
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The summer season of 2019-2020 has been named Australia's Black Summer because of the large forest fires that burnt for months in southeast Australia, affecting millions of Australia's citizens and hundreds of millions of animals and capturing global media attention. This extensive fire season has been attributed to the global climate crisis, a lon...
Article
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זיהום נפט שמקורו באוניות מהווה איום משמעותי למערכת האקולוגית של הים התיכון. דליפות נפט מכוונות או בעקבות תאונות פוגעות בסביבה הימית, במגוון הביולוגי ובאיכות חיי אדם. ענף הספנות הוא התורם המשמעותי ביותר לזיהום ים בנפט – כשליש (35%) מכלל הזיהום. שאר פעילויות האדם אחראיות לכחמישית (18% מהזיהום), ואילו היתרה, קרוב למחצית (47%) ממקורות הנפט, מגיעה ממקור...
Article
Full-text available
Discriminating between woody plant species using a single image is not straightforward due to similarity in their spectral signatures, and limitations in the spatial resolution of many sensors. Seasonal changes in vegetation indices can potentially improve vegetation mapping; however, for mapping at the individual species level, very high spatial r...
Article
Ship-generated oil pollution is a significant threat to the Mediterranean Sea. We present a geostatistical analysis of oil spills using three databases for the Mediterranean Sea: REMPEC (1977-2000) with 385 spills (17/year), ITOPF (1970-2018) with 167 spills (3.5/year) and EMSA (2015-2017) with 2066 detections (688/year). It was found that 88% of s...
Article
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Haifa Bay Area (HBA) contains Israel’s principal industrial area, and there are substantial public concerns about health effects from its emissions. We aimed to examine associations between exposure to air pollution from HBA industrial area with prevalent asthma and other atopic diseases at age 17. This is a cross-sectional study. The study populat...
Article
Planning reforms have been advanced under the premise that streamlining planning will expedite development and growth, arguing that regulatory planning is a binding constraint on development. Yet, the veracity of this premise has not been substantiated empirically. In this study we analyze the effects of two reforms that were advanced under this pr...
Article
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Satellite-observed night-time light in urban areas has been widely used as an indicator for socioeconomic development and light pollution. Up to present, the diurnal dynamics of city light during the night, which are important to understand the nature of human activity and the underlying variables explaining night-time brightness, have hardly been...
Article
Full-text available
Remote sensing of anthropogenic light has substantial potential to quantify light pollution levels and understand its impact on a wide range of taxa. Currently, the use of space-borne night-time sensors for measuring the actual light pollution that animals experience is limited. This is because most night-time satellite imagery and space-borne sens...
Article
Background Individuals with coronary heart disease are considered susceptible to traffic-related air pollution exposure. Yet, cohort-based evidence on whether preexisting coronary heart disease modifies the association of traffic-related air pollution with health outcomes is lacking. Aim Using data of four Israeli cohorts, we compared associations...
Article
In recent decades, there has been an increase in artificial lighting in the world due to urbanization and the revolution of LED lighting. Artificial lighting is an indicator of human activity, but can adversely affect natural ecosystems and people due to negative impacts of light pollution. Space-borne and airborne imagery as well as ground-based m...
Article
Remote sensing of night light emissions in the visible band offers a unique opportunity to directly observe human activity from space. This has allowed a host of applications including mapping urban areas, estimating population and GDP, monitoring disasters and conflicts. More recently, remotely sensed night lights data have found use in understand...
Article
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The deep sea (>200 m depth) encompasses >95% of the world’s ocean volume and represents the largest and least explored biome on Earth (<0.0001% of ocean surface), yet is increasingly under threat from multiple direct and indirect anthropogenic pressures. Our ability to preserve both benthic and pelagic deep-sea ecosystems depends upon effective eco...
Preprint
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Neoliberal accelerated planning procedures are becoming increasingly common. Such procedures are usually more centralized and less bureaucratic, while allowing less time for planners and public objections in comparison with multi-tiered planning processes, thereby raising concerns regarding the protection of open spaces. This study assesses the imp...
Article
Night-time light (NTL) data shows a high correspondence with human activities. Recent studies also found that the NTL responds to holidays, and that light values often peak at festival times. However, there are few studies on the different patterns of light change caused by different cultural events. Here, we examined the impacts of festivals on NT...
Article
Full-text available
Remote sensing of night lights differs from other sources of remote sensing in its ability to directly observe human activity from space as well as in informing us on a new type of anthropogenic threat, that of light pollution. This special issue focuses on studies which used newer sensors than the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program - Operati...
Article
Background: Moderate correlations were previously observed between individual estimates of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) produced by different exposure modeling approaches. This induces exposure misclassification for a substantial fraction of subjects. Aim: We used an ensemble of well-established modeling approaches to increase certainty of...
Chapter
Full-text available
חישה מרחוק של אזורים עירוניים מאפשרת לעקוב אחרי תהליכים של שינויים בשימושי קרקע באזורים בהם מתגוררת רוב אוכלוסיית העולם. מאחר ואזורים עירוניים הינם הטרוגניים מאד מבחינת הרכב החומרים שלהם, חישה מרחוק של אורות לילה מהווה אמצעי ייחודי לניטור של פעילות אנושית מהחלל. תאורה מלאכותית, בנוסף להיותה סמן של מקומות יישובים ופעילות תעשייתית, היא גם מקור לזיהום...
Article
Full-text available
The river Nile flows across 11 African countries, supporting millions of human livelihoods, and holding globally important biodiversity and endemism yet remains underprotected. No basin-wide spatial conservation planning has been attempted to date, and the importance of coordinated conservation planning for the Nile’s biodiversity remains unknown....
Article
Increasing global energy demands have led to the ongoing intensification of hydrocarbon extraction from marine areas. Hydrocarbon extractive activities pose threats to native marine biodiversity, such as noise, light, and chemical pollution, physical changes to the sea floor, invasive species, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we assessed at a gl...
Article
World Heritage sites provide a key mechanism for protecting areas of universal importance. However, fifty-four UNESCO sites are currently listed as "In Danger", with 40% of these located in the Middle East. Since 2010 alone, thirty new sites were identified as under risk globally. We combined big-data and remote sensing to examine whether they can...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation planning and population assessment for widely-distributed, but vulnerable, arboreal folivore species demands cost-effective mapping of habitat suitability over large areas. This study tested whether multispectral data from WorldView-3 could be used to estimate and map foliar digestible nitrogen (DigN), a nutritional measure superior to...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation planning and population assessment for widely-distributed, but vulnerable, arboreal folivore species demands cost-effective mapping of habitat suitability over large areas. This study tested whether multispectral data from WorldView-3 could be used to estimate and map foliar digestible nitrogen (DigN), a nutritional measure superior to...
Article
Tracking global and regional conflict zones requires spatially explicit information in near real-time. Here, we examined the potential of remote sensing time-series data (night lights) and big data (data mining of news events and Flickr photos) for monitoring and understanding crisis development and refugee flows. We used the recent Arab Spring as...
Chapter
Recent explorations of deep-water resources in the Mediterranean Sea provide some of the largest, most financially lucrative offshore global discoveries of natural gas. Yet along with such discoveries are the risks and challenges of protecting the Mediterranean Sea and its unique marine species and ecosystems. The Mediterranean Sea offers a timely...
Article
Background Exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is considered to have a carcinogenic effect. The authors previously reported a nonsignificant association between TRAP and cancer risk in a relatively small cohort of myocardial infarction survivors. This study assessed whether TRAP exposure is associated with subsequent cancer in a large...
Article
The economic and socio-political interactions between countries can have major impacts on transboundary conservation decisions and outcomes. Here, we examined for 14 Western Indian Ocean (WIO) continental and island nations the extent of their marine coral reef species, fisheries and marine protected areas (MPAs), in the context of their geopolitic...
Article
Full-text available
Most recent studies relating to the classification of vegetation species on the individual level use cutting-edge sensors and follow a data-driven approach, aimed at maximizing classification accuracy within a relatively small allocated area of optimal conditions. However, this approach does not incorporate cost-benefit considerations or the abilit...
Article
The spectral reflectance of most plant species is quite similar, and thus the feasibility of identifying most plant species based on single date multispectral data is very low. Seasonal phenological patterns of plant species may enable to face the challenge of using remote sensing for mapping plant species at the individual level. We used a consume...
Article
While marine environments are three-dimensional (3D) in nature, current approaches and tools for planning and prioritising actions in the ocean are predominantly two dimensional. Here, we develop a novel 3D marine spatial conservation prioritisation approach, which explicitly accounts for the inherent vertical heterogeneity of the ocean. This enabl...
Article
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The Earth's oceans are inherently 3D in nature. Many physical, environmental and biotic processes vary widely across depths. In recent years, human activities, such as oil drilling, mining and fishing are rapidly expanding into deeper, frontier ocean areas, where much of the biodiversity remains unknown. Most current conservation actions, managemen...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This paper aims to elucidate urban development-induced processes affecting the sediment and the distribution of contaminating metals in a seasonal pond located in the highly populated Israeli Coastal Plain. The paper demonstrates how an integrated approach, including geochemical, sedimentological, geochronological, mathematical, historical,...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological bias may result from interactions between variables that are characterized by different spatial and temporal scales. Such an ecological bias, also known as aggregation bias or cross-level-bias, may occur as a result of using coarse environmental information about stressors together with fine (i.e., individual) information on health outco...
Article
The VIIRS-DNB sensor launched in 2011 offers the remote sensing community improved capabilities for monitoring and quantifying nighttime brightness. So far, most studies of temporal changes in nighttime lights were focused on examining inter-annual trends or on sudden changes in light emission, related to demographic and economic reasons. Here, the...
Article
The stabilization process of coastal dunes is complex, involving feedback mechanisms and lag times between changes in climatic conditions, vegetation establishment and dune movement. In this study our aim was to examine changes in dune activity and in the establishment of foredunes on Moreton Island, Australia. We used historical aerial photos, sat...
Article
Remote sensing of nighttime lights has been shown as a good surrogate for estimating population and economic activity at national and sub-national scales, using DMSP satellites. However, few studies have examined the factors explaining differences in nighttime brightness of cities at a global scale. In this study, we derived quantitative estimates...
Article
Full-text available
Cumulative human impacts have led to the degradation of marine ecosystems and the decline of biodiversity in the European and contiguous seas. Effective conservation measures are urgently needed to reverse these trends. Conservation must entail societal choices, underpinned by human values and worldviews that differ between the countries bordering...
Article
Background: Previous studies suggested a carcinogenic effect of exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Recently, higher rates of cancer incidence were observed among myocardial infarction survivors compared with the general population. We examined the association between chronic exposure to nitrogen oxides, a proxy measure for traffic-related...
Article
Remote sensing of night-lights has been enhanced in recent years with the availability of the new VIIRS Day and Night band, the commercial EROS-B satellite and astronaut photographs from the International Space Station. However, dedicated space-borne multispectral sensors offering radiance calibrated night lights imagery are yet to be launched. Her...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires are expected to increase in Mediterranean landscapes as a result of climate change and changes in land-use practices. In order to advance our understanding of human and physical factors shaping spatial patterns of wildfires in the region, we compared two independently generated datasets of wildfires for Israel that cover approximately the...
Article
On-going changes in drought, vegetation and wildfires in Israel provide a key example of possible future evolution in transition areas at the border between Mediterranean and arid climates. Here we present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that drought conditions in Israel, representing the eastern Mediterranean, have increased during the perio...
Article
In their commentary on our recent article, “Where have all the people gone? Enhancing global Conservation using night lights and social media” (Levin et al., 2015), Tortato and Izzo (2016) agree with the manuscript's approach and major conclusion. However, Tortato and Izzo (2016) state that some of the areas identified by Levin et al. (2015) as “un...
Article
Artificial night lighting and its negative consequences are of interest in the fields of Astronomy, Human Geography, Ecology and Human Health. The majority of studies to date focused on the impacts light pollution has on our ability to view the night sky, as well as on biodiversity, ecosystems and humans. However, in recent years, with the emergenc...
Article
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Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that...
Data
A. List of organizations in Israel from which research questions and horizon scanning topics were submitted. B. List of organizations that participated in the priority questions and horizon scanning topic selection workshop in Israel. (DOCX)
Data
The definitions of horizon scanning (HS) in each of the horizon scanning in the projects included in this study. The definition, while sharing some attributes, differed among the projects conducted globally and compared here, which may have partly affected their different outcomes. (DOCX)
Book
Full-text available
Summary With more than 100 leading global contributors, this book is the most comprehensive documentation of the scientific and methodological advances that have taken place in understanding remote sensing data, methods, and applications over last 50 years. In a very practical way the book demonstrates the experience, utility, methods, and models...
Article
Geographic information systems allow the extraction and quantitative analysis of information from historical maps. The aims of this research were to examine the completeness of information represented on the 1881 Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) map, to quantitatively reconstruct the landscape of nineteenth century Palestine and to explore whether...
Article
Systematic conservation planning has rapidly advanced in the past decade and has been increasingly incorporated in multiple studies and conservation projects. One of its requirements is a quantitative definition of conservation targets. While the Convention on Biological Diversity aims to expand the world's protected area network to 17% of the land...
Article
Land cover and land use changes can result from climatic variability and climate changes, as well as from direct and indirect human drivers, such as growth in population and consumption. In this study, we aimed to examine whether major factors driving landscape changes (expressed in vegetation cover) in Israel, a densely populated country in the ea...
Article
Globally, extensive marine areas important for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning are undergoing exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas resources. Such operations are expanding to previously inaccessible deep waters and other frontier regions, while conservation-related legislation and planning is often lacking. Conserva...
Chapter
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The red palm weevil (RPW) is a palm borer insect that develops within the soft tissues of the trunk and crown, eventually leading to tree death. Early detection of RPW infestation is crucial. The RPW larvae developing inside the palm and direct visual detection of the infestation is quite difficult. The hypothesis was that the tunneling insects des...
Article
Over the years, Israel's centralized national planning framework and the intense competition on the limited available land played a crucial factor in designing the spatial distribution of the protected areas in Israel. When examining the spatial properties of the protected areas, it was found that they do not adequately represent the variety of the...
Article
Reconstructing past landscapes from historical maps requires quantifying the accuracy and completeness of these sources. The accuracy and completeness of two historical maps of the same period covering the same area in Israel were examined: the 1:63,360 British Palestine Exploration Fund map (1871-1877) and the 1:100,000 French Levés en Galilée (LG...