World Clock

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Himalayan Glaciers are melting due to Black Carbon from India

The Lawrence Berkley Lab in the US has conducted a research and found that the Himalayas are melting due to black carbon from India. Some of the highlights from the study include:

Black carbon absorbs sunlight and warms only the atmosphere. Black Carbon also makes the snow surface dirty. Dirty snow absorbs far more sunlight—and gets warmer faster—than pure white snow.

Top sources of black carbon include shipping, vehicle emissions, coal burning and inefficient stoves. According to Menon’s data, black carbon emitted in India increased by 46 percent from 1990 to 2000 and by another 51 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Black carbon heats the atmosphere, it changes the local heating profile, which increases convection, one of the primary causes of precipitation. While this results in more intense rainfall in some regions, it leads to less in other regions, this situation triggers extreme weather in eastern India and Bangladesh.

“The black carbon from India is contributing to the melting of the glaciers, it’s contributing to extreme precipitation, and if black carbon can be controlled more easily than greenhouse gases like CO2, then it makes sense for India to regulate black carbon emissions,” says Menon.

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