Black Carbon : Study
A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources recently recommended a detailed study on the impact of atmospheric pollution, including black carbon, on the Himalayan glacier system.
- Black carbon is the sooty black material emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and other sources that burn fossil fuel.
- It is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels.
- It comprises a significant portion of particulate matter or PM, which is an air pollutant.
- It is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere.
- It is an important contributor to warming because it is very effective at absorbing light and heating its surroundings. It contributes to warming by converting incoming solar radiation to heat.
- It has a warming impact on climate that is 460-1,500 times stronger than CO2.
- It also influences cloud formation and impacts regional circulation and rainfall patterns.
- When deposited on ice and snow, black carbon and co-emitted particles reduce surface albedo (the ability to reflect sunlight) and heat the surface.