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Black carbon

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH


Context: Black carbon, emitted from incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels, is a significant contributor to global warming and poses health risks.

  • In India, the residential sector is the largest source of black carbon emissions.

Prioritizing black carbon reduction aligns with India’s global commitments to decarbonization and sustainable development goals, potentially preventing thousands of premature deaths annually.

 Black carbon is a component of fine particulate matter (PM) air pollution. It’s also known as soot.

Black carbon is a light-absorbing particle that contributes to climate change by releasing heat energy into the atmosphere. It’s the second most important contributor to global warming and is considered a short-lived climate pollutant. 


Black carbon is formed by the incomplete combustion of wood and fossil fuels. The process also creates carbon dioxide (CO), carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds.

Black carbon particles can also settle on the surface of snow and ice, accelerating its melting.