Soot, the black carbon that triggers smog and bouts of coughing, is also the biggest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide, says a four-year assessment by US researchers.
The new study concludes that black carbon, the soot particles in smoke and smog,
contributes about twice as much to global warming as previously estimated, even by the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“We were surprised at its potential contribution to climate,” said Sarah Doherty, University of Washington (UW) atmospheric scientist and one of four coordinating lead authors, the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres reports.
Black carbon contributes to climate change in the mid to high latitudes, including the northern US, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia, as well as affecting rainfall patterns of the Asian monsoon.