Animal Agriculture’s Generation of Deadly Black Carbon   
Animal Agriculture’s Generation of Deadly Black Carbon  
Greetings, eco-loving viewers, and welcome to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. On today's program we examine the effects of the short-lived climate forcer, Black Carbon, on ice masses and planetary warming, and the role that animal agriculture and deforestation for livestock raising play in intensifying Black Carbon's impact.

Black Carbon, also known as soot, is a powerful warming agent that originates from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, diesel exhaust, inefficient cook stoves mainly used in developing countries burning biomass such as dried dung, wood, brush, or crop residue as fuel, and the clearing forests and savannas with fire.

When the Black Carbon particles are airborne, they have an intense warming effect, but have an even greater impact when they are deposited on ice masses. This is a major concern and why Black Carbon emissions need to be addressed immediately. Its atmospheric lifespan ranges from one to four weeks and its Global Warming Potential (GWP) over a 20-year timeframe, has been calculated to be between a staggering 1,600 to 4,700 times the warming-power of carbon dioxide.

Black Carbon's warming effect occurs in two ways:
(1) In the atmosphere as black particles absorb sunlight and generate heat; and,
(2) Particles are deposited on the Earth's surface, in particular on ice masses where they reduce the ability of the ice to reflect sunlight back into space and cause rapid melting by generating heat from absorbing sunlight.

Professor Jefferson Simões is the director of the Brazilian National Institute for Cryospheric Sciences and a National Delegate to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). He created the first national laboratory in Brazil dedicated to glaciology and geographical polar research, and recently gave an informative presentation on the presence of Black Carbon in Antarctica and its effect on ice masses at the November 3, 2010 Leaders Preserving Our Future: Pace and Priorities on Climate Change conference in London, UK.

For more details about the organizations today's guests represent, please visit the following websites Professor Jefferson Simões of the Brazilian National Institute for Cryospheric Sciences (Part of the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology)
John C. Topping of the Climate Institute
Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop of the World Preservation Foundation
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