Black Carbon from India, Not Greenhouse Gases, Primary Cause of Himalayan Glacier Melt

GreenTracker| No thinking person disputes the fact that the Himalayan glaciers are melting. The most often blamed culprit is greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. Apparently, scientists haven’t investigated other possibilities that might be the cause.

We quote lavishly here from Science Daily, due to the political sensitivity of discussions around global warming:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Surabi Menon set out to isolate the impacts of the most commonly blamed culprit — greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide — from other particles in the air that may be causing the melting. Menon and her collaborators found that airborne black carbon aerosols, or soot, from India is a major contributor to the decline in snow and ice cover on the glaciers. 

The findings are significant because they point to a simple way to make a swift impact on the snow melt. “Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years, but black carbon doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for more than a few weeks, so the effects of controlling black carbon are much faster,” Menon says. “If you control black carbon now, you’re going to see an immediate effect.”