17 Jun '11, 1pm

Black carbon: how reducing it could slow global warming and lift the Asian smog

Black carbon: how reducing it could slow global warming and lift the Asian smog

Black carbon – which gives soot its black colouring – is the result of incomplete fossil fuel and wood combustion and is emitted as particles into the atmosphere. The main sources being diesel vehicles and in less industrialised countries from the burning of biomass. Up in the atmosphere it absorbs sunlight and increases air temperature, while on the ground it adds to air pollution, particularly in urban areas. It can also darken snow and ice, increasing absorption of sunlight and has been linked to accelerating melting of the Arctic.

 The contribution of black carbon to warming is thought to be 100-2000 times greater than CO2. However, it has a much shorter lifetime, staying in the atmosphere for only a number of days or weeks compared to 100 years for carbon dioxide (CO2), meaning benefits from reducing emissions will be rapidly noticeable. 

 In a study this week, the ...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/939008/bla...

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flat black

flat black

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grist.org 24 Jun '11, 7pm

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