Black carbon is another name for soot, which is produced by the incomplete combustion of burning coal, wood, or other fuel sources. In industrialized countries coal plants and vehicle exhaust are major sources of soot, while in the developing world the burning of wood for heat is also an important source. Though scientists have long recognized soot as a source of localized pollution, it’s only in the last few years that researchers have truly begun to realize how much black carbon may contribute to global warming, as well. More and more climate scientists are warning that to truly stabilize the climate, we must expand our focus to consider not just carbon dioxide, but also other greenhouse pollutants like black carbon.
Black carbon (BC) is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is emitted in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot. It consists of pure carbon in several linked forms.
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