Black carbon (BC)

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    In News

    • Black carbon (BC) concentration in Antarctica is considerably higher around research stations and popular tourist destinations than other parts of the continent, according to a new report.

    About

    • Meaning
      • It is a component of fine particulate matter.
      • Black carbon consists of pure carbon in several linked forms.
      • It is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is one of the main types of particle in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot.
    • Impact
      • Black carbon-impacted areas are seeing a shrinking of snowpack on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated archipelagoes by up to 23 millimeters water equivalent every summer.
      • It reduces the surface albedo and can lead to earlier and more rapid snow melt.
      • Black carbon causes human morbidity and premature mortality.
      • In climatology, black carbon is a climate forcing agent contributing to global warming.
    • Sources
      • Predominant sources of black carbon or soot are combustion-related, namely fossil fuels for transportation, solid fuels for industrial and residential uses as well as open burning of biomass.
      • Footprint of local activities in Antarctica has increased with vessels, airplanes, diesel power plants, generators, helicopters and trucks.
    • Palmer Station
      • It is the smallest of the three permanent scientific research stations operated by the United States Antarctic Program.
    • The IPCC sixth assessment report
      • It said that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have been losing mass since at least 1990, with the highest loss rate during 2010–2019 and warned that they are projected to continue to lose mass.

    Source: DTE