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Keywords:

  • black carbon;
  • climate forcing;
  • aerosol

Black carbon aerosol, commonly known as soot, plays an important role in Earth's climate system by absorbing solar radiation, affecting cloud processes, and influencing melting of snow and ice. In fact, after carbon dioxide, black carbon is the second most important individual climate forcing agent in the industrial era, a new study indicates. Large sources of black carbon emissions include burning of forests, industrial and residential burning of coal and biomass for fuel, and burning of diesel fuels for transportation.