Do you think there’s any link between the increasing soot particles in the air and global warming? There is, says modern research. A study of suspended soot particles reinforces the theory that reducing soot emissions from diesel engines and other sources could slow melting of sea ice in the Arctic faster and more economically.
A presentation at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) cited concern that continued melting of sea ice above the Arctic Circle will ring alarm bells for Earth’s climate. The ice, which reflects sunlight and heat back into space, would give way to darker water that absorbs heat and exacerbates warming. And there is no known way to make the sea refreeze in the short term.
Controlling soot means controlling warming above parts of the Arctic Circle by almost 3 degrees Fahrenheit within 15 years. That would erase all of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last 100 years.
No other measure would fetch such an immediate effect. Soot emissions are second only to carbon dioxide in promoting global warming. They account for about 17 percent of global warming..
Black carbon (soot) particles become suspended in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight, just like a black t-shirt on a sunny day. The particles then radiate that heat back into the air around it. Black carbon also can absorb light reflected from Earth’s surface, which helps make it such a potent warming agent.
The technology for controlling black carbon, unlike that for controlling CO2, is already available at a relatively modest cost.
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