High levels of black carbon in glaciers, warn scientists

Black carbon absorbs light and heat which causes an increase in temperature, causing glaciers to melt faster.

Published: 03rd February 2020 10:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2020 10:44 AM   |  A+A-

Glacier

For representational purposes

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Scientists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology have found heightened levels of black carbon in glacial areas of Uttarakhand during the forest fire seasons. 

Black carbon absorbs light and heat which causes an increase in temperature, causing glaciers to melt faster. It is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass. This has worsened the air quality since black carbon is emitted directly into the atmosphere in the form of fine particles and is a light-absorbing component of particulate matter. 

If wildfires continue for a longer period, it can affect the glaciers too, warned scientists. The report mentions that black carbon was found up to 4.62 cubic micrograms in over 900 glaciers during the wildfire season in Uttarakhand, especially from April to June. 

 While 1-2 cubic micrograms of black carbon is considered normal, the present level is alarmingly high. A report on the situation has been submitted to Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, PS Negi, a senior scientist said. However, it’s not only the pollution in India but those from Europe and China is also affecting India.

While black carbon stays for a lesser time in the atmosphere as compared to greenhouse gases, its ill effects cannot be underestimated since the compound can also pollute groundwater, causing health complications in larger populations. DP Dobhal, another scientist said, “New research points out that air from Europe, China and even Africa contain traces of black carbon in considerable amount to affect the Himalayan glaciers.” 
 

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp