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31 October 2017

Black Carbon Emissions

India feels the heat

Black carbon is released from a partial burning of fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass. India releases great amounts of black carbon into the atmosphere. And this affects the climate by increasing the temperature.

If we understood the patterns of black carbon emissions from different sources, we could perhaps develop strategies to overcome the problem.  Recently a group of scientists from the IIT, Kharagpur, reported estimating spatial and temporal black carbon emissions over the Indian region using an integrated model.

They estimated black carbon emission by extracting information on initial bottom-up emissions. They also used atmospheric black carbon density from a simulation of a general circulation model in conjunction with the receptor modelling approach.

They found that monthly black carbon emission exhibited spatial and temporal variability: highest during February and lowest in July. They also found that monthly black carbon emission flux was considerably high over the entire Indo-gangetic plain, and the east and west coast during winter. During summer, it was higher over India’s central and western regions than over the Indo-gangetic plain.

The scientists also calculated the annual black carbon rate. Of the total annual black carbon emissions over India, the Indo-gangetic plain contributed 50% and central India, 40%. These estimates are over five times more than earlier estimates for most of the Indo-gangetic plain, east coast, central, and north-western India. The research team suggests that the data can be used in a chemical transport model to tackle black carbon emission over India.

Atmospheric Res., 195: 9-19 (2017)

M. Ramakrishnan

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