Topics / Black carbon

Black carbon refers to solid particles emitted during incomplete combustion. Diesel engines are an important source, though not the major one. Black carbon contributes to climate change in two ways: in the atmosphere it absorbs sunlight and re-emits the energy as heat; and when deposited on ice or snow, in addition to warming the surface and air directly, it reduces the surface albedo (reflectivity) causing the surface to absorb more sunlight. As a contributor to climate change it is possibly second only to CO2, and because it is short-lived (remaining in the atmosphere only a few weeks) reducing BC emissions could have a very rapid and significant effect on the rate of warming. Black carbon is also a serious public health concern. Exposure to particulate matter is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths globally each year.

Most Recent

Examines the cost of alternate marine fuels and presents a pathway for replacing heavy fuel oil in the Arctic.

An updated global inventory of black carbon emissions from the global shipping sector with several recommendations on how to reduce black carbon emissions from ships.

Provides information on market dynamics, opportunities and barriers for truck fuel-saving technologies and operational measures, and the potential benefits of building a more robust and extensive Transporte Limpio program, and harmonizing it with the SmartWay program in the U.S.

2014.08.11

Results, methods, and underlying assumptions of an ICCT analysis conducted to support the decision-making process for updating NOM 044, demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of matching EPA 2010 or Euro VI requirements to reduce the environmental impacts of diesel heavy-duty vehicles.

Publication: Working paper
2014.06.19
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Environmental Protection Agency v.
Blog Post
2014.02.20
Yesterday, the three political leaders of North America, President Peña Nieto, President Obama, and Prime Minister Harper, met to discuss ways in which their countries could work better together.
Blog Post
2013.10.02
Not so long ago, explorers risked their lives and the lives of their crews in search of the fabled Northwest Passage.
Blog Post
2013.08.02
My colleague Nic Lutsey recently blogged about a new development in US-China climate collaboration: a focus on improving the efficiency of he
Blog Post
2013.08.02
Older diesel vehicles are prime culprits when it comes to both urban air pollution and climate change.
Blog Post

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