India on Tuesday launched national Black Carbon Research Initiative to know whether un-burnt diesel or smoke from firewood was causing global warming and melting of Himalayan glaciers.
Black carbon or soot has been central to international climate debate as has been termed as a major source for the same. "Sixty monitoring centers in will help us in determining what black carbon does to climate," environment minister Jairam Ramesh said after launching a joint initiate of his ministry, Indian Space Research Organisation and Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Terming it as a unique project, V Ramanathan said it was a great day for climate research in and would be highlight in the global scientific arena. Ramanathan works with the based Scripps Institute scientist and was the first to state that Black Carbon contributed 60 % of the total carbon dioxide induced global warming.
J Srinivasan of ISRO, who is heading the initiative, differed with Ramanathan said the existing research shows that high presence of black carbon in atmosphere is not because of local emissions. "We are monitoring black carbon at 36 locations and have found external reasons responsible for high presence of black carbon," he said.
Several studies done in the west on black carbon had termed its high presence as a reason for faster Himalayan glacier melt. Ramesh described some of these glacial scientists as quacks and said was looking at "solid scientific foundation" on the subject.
"There is complete difference in behaviour of Himalayan glaciers and arctic glaciers which need to be studied and need to establish our own scientific capacity to understand this change," he said.
The research will cost Rs 200 crore in five years and its first results are expected in two years period.