Regulations designed to improve public health and reduce smog by reducing air pollution from trucks burning diesel fuel in the US state of California have been found to have an additional side benefit.
Over the past two decades, these measures also resulted in a 50% reduction in black carbon, a potent climate change agent generated from diesel fuel combustion and agricultural or other biomass burning. As a result, organizations like the Arctic Council and the Climate Institute have been focusing on the further reduction of this substance to bring about more rapid planetary cooling.
Scientists and policy makers in the past have been concerned that reducing black carbon would also diminish other aerosols, whose presence has actually been attributed to a cooling effect. However, in this California study, Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan of Scripps Institution of Oceanography calculated that the reduction of black carbon resulted in a significant cooling effects for both the region's heat and water supplies.
Moreover, according to World Preservation Foundation Senior Scientist Gerard Wedderburn-Bisshop, one of the leading sources of black carbon is the deforestation that occurs to clear agricultural land, 70% of which is used for livestock raising.
California Resource Board, Dr. Ramanathan and Dr. Bisshop, many thanks for helping us understand the role of black carbon in climate change. May we each act to reduce this and other potent greenhouse gas sources for their Earth balancing benefit to all lives.
Speaking during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the changes needed to most effectively reduce planet-warming substances such as black carbon.