UPSC Courses

DNA banner


  • 04 June, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

Black Carbon study by World Bank

Black Carbon study by World Bank

About Black Carbon

  • Black Carbon (BC) =It is a Pollutant as well as a GHG. It is a solid particle or aerosol & a component of 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 (like soot & dust), and is emitted in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot.

  • It is short lived. It is the strongest absorber of sunlight and heats the atmosphere directly. It can upset the monsoon system and disrupt cloudiness.
  • Black Carbon Study by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun: It is not the local sources that are the reason for pollution and receding snowline of the Himalayas but the reason is Black Carbon (Because of Western disturbances). If deposited on snow, it reduces the albedo and accelerates the heating of snow and quicken the melting of glaciers.

Health Impacts

  • Black carbon (BC) is a pollutant known to aggravate breathing disorders.
  • According to a recent study published, BC particles emitted by the vehicular exhaust and coal-fired power plants, have been detected on the fetus-facing side of the placenta. This is expected to affect the overall development of the unborn baby.

Other terminologies

  • Brown Carbon : It is the ubiquitous & unidentified component of organic aerosol. Major source is biomass burning (wood). It is a GHG.
  • Blue Carbon: It is the carbon stored & sequestered in coastal ecosystem like Mangrove forests, seagrass meadows or intertidal marshes.

What is the news?

  • World Bank released a report on Black Carbon titled “Glaciers of the Himalayas, Climate Change, Black Carbon and Regional Resilience”.
  • Black carbon (BC) deposits produced by human activity which accelerate the pace of glacier and snow melt in the Himalayan region can be sharply reduced through new, currently feasible policies by an additional 50% from current levels, a study by World Bank (WB) specialists has said.
  • The research covers the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush (HKHK) mountain ranges, where, the report says, glaciers are melting faster than the global average ice mass.
  • The rate of retreat of HKHK glaciers is estimated to be 0.3 metres per year in the west to 1.0 metre per year in the east. BC adds to the impact of climate change.
  • Full implementation of current policies to mitigate BC can achieve a 23% reduction but enacting new policies and incorporating them through regional cooperation among countries can achieve enhanced benefits, the WB said in the report titled “Glaciers of the Himalayas, Climate Change, Black Carbon and Regional Resilience”.
  • BC is a short-lived pollutant that is the second-largest contributor to warming the planet behind carbon dioxide (CO2). Unlike other greenhouse gas emissions, BC is quickly washed out and can be eliminated from the atmosphere if emissions stop.
  • Unlike historical carbon emissions, it is also a localised source with greater local impact.
  • Some of the ongoing policy measures to cut BC emissions are
    1. Enhancing fuel efficiency standards for vehicles,
    2. Phasing out diesel vehicles and promoting electric vehicles,
    3. Accelerating the use of liquefied petroleum gas for cooking and through clean cookstove programmes, as well as
    4. Upgrading brick kiln technologies.
  • However, with all existing measures, water from glacier melt is still projected to increase in absolute volume by 2040, with impacts on downstream activities and communities.
  • Glacier melt produces flash floods, landslips, soil erosion, and glacial lake outburst floods.
  • Deposits of BC act in two ways hastening the pace of glacier melt:
    1. By decreasing surface reflectance of sunlight and
    2. By raising air temperature, the researchers point out.
  • Specifically, in the Himalayas, reducing black carbon emissions from cookstoves, diesel engines, and open burning would have the greatest impact and could significantly reduce radiative forcing and help to maintain a greater portion of Himalayan glacier systems. More detailed modelling at a higher spatial resolution is needed to expand on the work already completed.
  • Industry [primarily brick kilns] and residential burning of solid fuel together account for 45–66% of regional anthropogenic [man-made] BC deposition, followed by on-road diesel fuels (7–18%) and open burning (less than 3% in all seasons)” in the region.

Source: TH

Rajasthan First State to Implement Biofuel Policy

  Rajasthan First State to Implement Biofuel Policy: (GS-II(Policies) & GS-III(Environment)) Theme: Biofuel Policy Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the national policy on biofuels unveiled by the Centre in May 2018.   The desert State will lay emphasis on increasing production of oils

SEHAT Scheme for Teleconsultation

Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) is the tri-services teleconsultation service of the Ministry of Defense designed for all entitled personnel and their families. As part of the Government’s commitment to Digital India and e-Governance, Minister of Defense launched SeHAT on 27 May 2021. It has been a great exam

PM Poshan Scheme to replace Mid Day Meal Scheme

PM Poshan (Erstwhile Mid Day Meal) Scheme Cabinet has approved the Prime Minister POSHAN scheme or PM-POSHAN for providing one hot cooked meal in Government and Government-aided schools. The scheme will replace the existing national programme for mid-day meal in schools or Mid-day Meal Scheme (launched in 1995). It has been launched for a

National Initiative for Design Innovation (NIDI)

National Initiative for Design Innovation (NIDI) Government launched the scheme of “National Initiative for Design Innovation (NIDI)” in March, 2014. Scheme envisaged establishment of 20 Design Innovation Centres (DIC), One Open Design School (ODS) and One National Design Innovation Network (NDIN) across the country for promoti

Saffron cultivation in India

Saffron is a plant whose dried stigmas (thread-like parts of the flower) are used to make saffron spice. Saffron cultivation is believed to have been introduced in Kashmir by Central Asian immigrants around the 1st Century BCE. Pampore region, in India, commonly known as Saffron bowl of Kashmir, is the main contributor to saffron p

Students Achievement

Search By Date

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts