This is another great example of how air quality is tied-in to water quality, and how dirty air can compound an already tight water situation in CA! – Jeremy

By Lori Abbot, California News Service

SAN FRANCISCO—Black carbon produced from diesel engines and wood burning is a bigger threat to global warming than previously thought. A new report from Stanford University has found that black and brown soot is adding to the rapid melting of arctic sea ice, as well as the Sierra Nevada snow pack.

Erika Rosenthal, an attorney with Earthjustice and an expert on this type of pollution, says black carbon emissions stay in the atmosphere for about a week, absorbing incoming sunlight and warming the atmosphere.

“When it lands on snow and ice it actually changes the reflectivity of the snow and ice, causing it to warm quickly and melt earlier. Earlier melt is really a threat to the security of the water supply in California over the long term.”

Rosenthal advises taking steps now to stop the damage and reduce black carbon emissions, which would also have other benefits, since black carbon is a well-known cause of respiratory and other health problems.

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