Soot now considered to be major contributor in global warming - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Soot now considered to be major contributor in global warming

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A new report released on January 15th in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere has found that the second worst heat trapping pollutant in Earth's atmosphere is Black Carbon, better known as common soot.

Black Carbon is generated from the burning of diesel fuel and wood or plant materials. It exists in much smaller amounts than the better known greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides, but according to researcher Tami Bond from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "it's very powerful."

In addition to trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere which leads to an increase in global temperatures, the soot poses a major medical and health issue. Manmade effects on climate change have largely revolved around the greenhouse gases, but now research will include black carbon which comes in different sizes and in some cases can affect cloud formation and also lead to cooling of the atmosphere by blocking sunlight altogether.

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