Black Carbon is the result of inefficient combustion. It is essential soot. It is a potent contributor to global warming because it absorbs so much heat. However, it only stays in the atmosphere for a few weeks unlike 100s of years that CO2 does. Reducing Black Carbon may be a very good way to reduce global warming drastically very quickly.
Black Carbon also is becoming more important in the Arctic. Black Carbon in the atmosphere can settle in snow, thus darkening the snow and reducing the reflectivity (albedo) of the previously white snow. Reducing the reflectivity leads to more absorption of sunlight, which can then lead to increased warming at the surface.
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