Global warming made worse by soot, study says
Tuesday 23 December 2003
Soot pouring out of trucks and chimneys could be responsible for a quarter of observed global warming, researchers said yesterday.
The impact of soot on climate is much larger than previously thought, a new study has shown. Soot, mainly composed of black carbon, is the dusty by-product of burning fossil fuels and vegetation.
The Nasa scientists James Hansen and Larissa Nazarenko, from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, have found that soot is twice as effective as carbon dioxide at raising global surface air temperature.
Levels are highest over China and India, where coal and biofuels are burnt for domestic use, and Europe and North America, where the major source is diesel fuel. Soot warms the Earth by darkening snow and ice, causing it to absorb rather than reflect sunlight. The scientists said high soot emissions might be substantially contributing to earlier spring melts.
It could also be helping glaciers, sea ice and ice sheets to melt at lower temperatures.
Drs Nazarenko and Hansen wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the northern hemispheres, thinning arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost."
They suggested reducing soot emissions - a move that has yet to be considered by the international community.
Chimpanzees may have a similar sense of right and wrong to humans, new study finds
Greenham Reach: The families trying to prove that compact, ecological farms can make a living
Thousands of people killed by extreme weather in 2015 as El Nino arrives to bring more chaos
The Eastern Cougar will be officially listed as extinct — almost 80 years after last sighting
A spotter's guide to a wild orchid summer
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...