Black Carbon

What do you understand by Black Carbon? Examine its impact on ecosystem. (200 Words)

Black Carbon or soot refers to the solid particle emitted during incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass. BC is the solid fraction of PM2.5 that strongly absorbs light and converts that energy to heat.
Emissions of BC comes from mobile sources especially diesel vehicles, biomass burning (including wildfires), residential heating and industry.
It has much shorter life span – a few hours to 20 years than CO2 (lifespan of more than 100 years) but plays a far greater role in global warming as it traps more heat. Because of its short lifetime in the atmosphere the effects of BC are most important regionally, especially in South and East Asia. Other hotspots occur in Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and parts of Africa.
  1. Melting of snow and ice, by absorbing heat in the atmosphere and by reducing albedo(the Earth’s ability to reflect sunlight, when deposited on snow and ice)
  2. Interference with cloud formation and changes in precipitation patterns.
  3. Reduced agricultural production in some parts of the world.
  4. Soiling and damage of material/Water Pollution
  5. Global temperature change
  6. Visibility impairment
  7. Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in human beings
Mitigating BC by using clean fuels, making emissions standards for industries and clean and efficient household cooking solutions, especially in rural areas could prove effective in slowing down the planet‘s warming.



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