Human activities are drying out the Amazon: NASA study

A new NASA study shows that over the last 20 years, the atmosphere above the Amazon rainforest has been drying out, increasing the demand for water and leaving ecosystems vulnerable to fires and drought. It also shows that ...

Oak trees in Southern U.S. cities are natural urban air filters

Researchers at the University of North Texas have found that two oak tree species, post oak and live oak, that are widespread across the U.S. South remove black carbon from the urban atmosphere. The findings may offer a natural ...

Scientists use a new method to track pollution from cooking

Cooking organic aerosol (COA) is one of the most important primary sources of pollution in urban environments. There is growing evidence that exposure to cooking oil fumes is linked to lung cancer. Currently, the most effective ...

Analysis of wildfire smoke will help calibrate climate models

Thunderstorms generated by a group of giant wildfires in 2017 injected a small volcano's worth of aerosol into the stratosphere, creating a smoke plume that lasted for almost nine months. CIRES and NOAA researchers studying ...

Research shows black plastics could create renewable energy

Research from Swansea University has found how plastics commonly found in food packaging can be recycled to create new materials like wires for electricity—and could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the future.

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Black carbon

Black carbon or BC is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is emitted in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot. Black carbon warms the planet by absorbing heat in the atmosphere and by reducing albedo, the ability to reflect sunlight, when deposited on snow and ice. Black carbon stays in the atmosphere for only several days to weeks, whereas CO2 has an atmospheric lifetime of more than 100 years.

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