Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Dark Side of Carbon

As interest in Earth's changing climate heats up, a tiny dark particle is stepping into the limelight: black carbon. Commonly known as soot, black carbon enters the air when fossil fuels and biofuels, such as coal, wood, and diesel are burned. Black carbon is found worldwide, but its presence and impact are particularly strong in Asia.

Black carbon, a short-lived particle, is in perpetual motion across the globe. The Tibetan Plateau's high levels of black carbon likely impact the region's temperature, clouds and monsoon season.