What is Black Carbon?

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According to a 2016 study, the residential sector contributes 47% of India’s total black carbon emissions.

About Black Carbon

  • It is the dark, sooty material emitted alongside other pollutants when biomass and fossil fuels are not fully combusted.
  • 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 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.
  • Impacts:
    • It contributes to global warming and poses severe risks. Studies have found a direct link between exposure to black carbon and a higher risk of heart disease, birth complications, and premature death.
    • It has a warming impact on climate that is 460-1,500 times stronger than CO2.
  • Most black carbon emissions in India arise from burning biomass, such as cow dung or straw, in traditional cookstoves.

Q1) What Is Global Greenhouse Gas Watch (GGGW)?

It is a new greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring initiative of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It will fill critical information gaps, providing an integrated, operational framework under all space-based and surface-based observing systems under one roof, along with modelling and data assimilation capabilities.

Source: The need to curb black carbon emissions | Explained