The Carbon That’s Killing India, and How California Can Help
This week, President Obama is the chief guest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at India's Republic Day celebrations. At the close of the historic visit, the two leaders are expected to announce cooperation on a suite of climate and clean energy measures, with the ultimate goal of reining in India's rapidly rising carbon dioxide emissions.
But during his visit, the president, just like New Delhi's 25 million residents, will be exposed to another kind of dangerous carbon pollution: black carbon.
Black carbon is scientists' term for ultra-fine particles produced by incomplete combustion. It's the stuff that makes soot dark, an unwanted byproduct of burning diesel fuel in vehicles, biomass in stoves for cooking and heating, coal in small industrial operations and agricultural waste in post-harvest fields. Humanity sends as much as 17 million metric tons of black carbon each year into the atmosphere, where it traps far more heat per unit mass than carbon dioxide, making it the second-biggest contributor to global warming.
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