Black Carbon Particles Contribute To Increasing COVID-19 Cases | UPSC

Black Carbon Particles Contribute To Increasing COVID-19 Cases | UPSC | Why In The News ? 

  • Black carbon particles contribute to increasing COVID-19 cases.
  • This is according to a recent study conducted by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology located in Pune.

About the study:

  • The COVID-19 infection count increase corresponded with an increase in black carbon in the atmosphere and decreased simultaneously with the decrease in black carbon in the atmosphere.
  • The study also suggests that this holds true only for black carbon particles and not all PM2.5 particles.
  • The Increase in COVID-19 infection rate in Delhi coincided with stubble burning in neighbouring states, the study showed.
  • The aged biomass BC particles aggregated and reacted with other compounds to grow in size, providing temporary habitat to viruses.
  • This led to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases.

Black Carbon Particles Contribute To Increasing COVID-19 Cases | UPSC

About Black Carbon:

  • Black Carbon is a short-lived pollutant.
  • It is the second-largest contributor to warming the planet behind carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • Black carbon is a kind of an aerosol.
  • An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air.
  • Black carbon is commonly known as soot.
  • Soot is a form of particulate air pollutant, produced from incomplete combustion.
  • Unlike other greenhouse gas emissions, Black Carbon is quickly washed out and can be eliminated from the atmosphere if emissions stop.
  • Unlike historical carbon emissions it is also a localised source with greater local impact.
  • It emits infra-red radiation that increases the temperature.

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Source Of Black Carbon : 

  • It gets emitted from gas and diesel engines, coal-fired power plants, and other sources that burn fossil fuel.
  • It comprises a significant portion of particulate matter or PM2.5, which is an air pollutant.

Some Additional Information : 

  • India and China are the largest emitters of black carbon in the world.

What are short-lived climate pollutants?

  • Short-lived climate pollutants are those pollutants which are short lived in the atmosphere.
  • They are also known as Super Pollutants.
  • Methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are some examples of short-lived pollutants.
  • They are many times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.
  • But because they are short-lived in the atmosphere, preventing emissions can rapidly reduce the rate of warming.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC):

  • The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a voluntary partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organizations.

Aimf Of The CCAC : 

  • T o improving air quality and protecting the climate through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants which includes Methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) etc.

Some Additional Information : 

About Project Surya
  • It aims at reducing atmospheric concentrations of black carbon, methane, and ozone.
  • Project Surya will replace the highly polluting cookstoves traditionally employed in rural areas with clean-cooking technologies and employs innovative sensing technologies to measure the positive climate and health impacts by a means of a mobile phone platform to measures ‘black carbon’ concentrations.

Source – Down To Earth 

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