Black carbon is an air pollutant that harms human health and can contribute to climate change, so cutting emissions may have many benefits. The new European Environment Agency (EEA) report, “Status of black carbon monitoring in ambient air in Europe”, looks at the monitoring networks currently measuring black carbon, their measurement methodologies and how this data is used.
Black carbon is the sooty part of particulate matter (PM) formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. Emission sources include motor vehicles, non-road mobile machinery, ships, residential coal or wood burning and open biomass burning, including forest fires and agricultural waste burning. As the effects of this pollutant have become better understood in recent years, it is increasingly seen as an important target of environmental control.
Source: EEA press release 10 December 2013.