Climatic Effects of Black Carbon

By | May 22, 2013



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Writing as background for their work, Kaspari et al. (2011)[1] state that “black carbon (BC, the absorbing component of soot) produced by the incomplete combustion of biomass, coal and diesel fuels can significantly contribute to climate change by altering the Earth’s radiative balance,” noting that “BC is estimated to have 55% of the radiative forcing effect of CO2 (Ramanathan and Carmichael, 2008),” which is in line with the approximately 1 Wm-2 radiative forcing of black carbon reported by Hansen (2002)[2]. Nevertheless, and in spite of these facts, Kaspari et al. note that BC still remains “one of the largest sources of uncertainty in analyses of climate change.”