The new estimate of black carbon's heat-trapping power is about double the estimate made in the 2007 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, notes Elisabeth Rosenthal of The New York Times. Researchers said that if indirect warming effects of black carbon are factored in, the total effect could be about three times the previously estimated rate.
"The new calculation adds urgency to efforts to curb the production of black carbon," which is released most by diesel engines in richer nations and cook stoves and kerosene lamps in poorer countries, Rosenthal reports. Forest fires can also release it. Black carbon is already being targeted by Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, a program seeking to reduce black carbon production to hinder climate change, air pollution and respiratory disease. (Read more)