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Brown carbon ‘tarballs’ that hasten glacial melt found in Himalayan atmosphere

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    7th Nov, 2020

Context

  • Nearly 28 per cent of particles collected from the air samples from a research station in the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau were tarballs.

What are Tarballs?

  • Tarballs are small light-absorbing, carbonaceous particles formed due to burning of biomass or fossil fuels that deposit on snow and ice.
  • Primary brown carbon (BrC) co-emitted with black carbon (BC) from biomass burning is an important light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosol.
  • The percentage of the tarballs increased on days of higher levels of pollution and could contribute to hastening of glacial melt and global warming.
  • The median sizes of externally mixed tarballs and internally mixed tarballs were 213 and 348 nanometre respectively.

Impact

  • Tarballs from long-range transport can be an important factor in the climatic effect and would correspond to a substantial influence on glacial melting in the Himalaya region.