Topic Overview

Black carbon (BC), the main component of soot, is a product of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (primarily coal and diesel fuel), the burning of solid biomass in cook stoves and heating stoves, and the open burning of biomass. Although black carbon has long been thought to be a contributor to global climate change, its contribution traditionally was estimated to be minor compared to the contribution of the main greenhouse gases (GHGs). However, a number of recent studies have questioned this view, suggesting instead that black carbon is a major contributor to atmospheric warming. more