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NAINITAL: Raging forest fires in Uttarakhand could have a devastating effect on the state's glaciers which are the lifeline of the major rivers flowing through India's northern plains.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have requested guidance on common greenhouse gas metrics in accounting for Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to emission reductions. Metric choice can affect the relative emphasis placed on reductions of ‘cumulative climate pollutants’ such as carbon dioxide versus ‘short-lived climate pollutants’ (SLCPs), including methane and black carbon.

Although black carbon (BC) represents a key short-lived climate forcer, its direct radiative forcing remains highly uncertain. The available results from available studies of absorption enhancement of BC particles during atmospheric aging are conflicting. Using a novel environmental chamber method, we have, for the first time to our knowledge, quantified the aging and variation in the optical properties of BC particles under ambient urban conditions representative of developed and developing countries.

Using a global coupled biogeochemistry–climate model and a chemistry and transport model reveals that China’s present-day global radiative forcing is about ten per cent of the current global total, made up of both warming and cooling contributions; if in the future China reduces the cooling forcings, global warming could accelerate.

The coating of black carbon (BC) with inorganic salts and organic compounds can enhance the magnitude of light absorption by BC. To elucidate the enhancement of light absorption of aged BC particles and its relation to the mixing state and morphology of individual particles, we conducted observations of particles at an Asian outflow site in Noto Peninsula, Japan, in the spring of 2013.

Emissions from solid fuels used for cooking cause ~4 million premature deaths per year. Advanced solid-fuel cookstoves are a potential solution, but they should be assessed by appropriate performance indicators, including biological effects. Objective: The researchers evaluated two categories of solid-fuel cookstoves for 8 pollutant- and 4 mutagenicity-emission factors, correlated the mutagenicity-emission factors, and compared them to those of other combustion emissions.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), one of the six Working Groups of the Arctic Council, has released its assessment report on black carbon and ozone as Arctic climate forcers, which complements an earlier report on methane as Arctic climate forcer as part of AMAP's assessment on short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs).

Recent studies have shown that exposure to particulate black carbon (BC) has significant adverse health effects and may be more detrimental to human health than exposure to PM2.5 as a whole. Mobile source BC emission controls, mostly on diesel-burning vehicles, have successfully decreased mobile source BC emissions to less than half of what they were 30 years ago. Quantification of the benefits of previous emissions controls conveys the value of these regulatory actions and provides a method by which future control alternatives could be evaluated.

NEW DELHI: The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for urgent action to avoid climate change by reducing emissions of black carbon, ozone and methane as well as carbon dioxide.

A new WHO report has called for an urgent need to reduce emissions of black carbon, ozone and methane — as well as carbon dioxide — which all contribute to climate change.