New Dark Age


Soot or black carbon concentrations on the ice surface in the Arctic are causing it to melt faster. Gas flaring from oil drillings is to blame for at least 42 per cent of this soot, and the figure goes even higher at certain times of the year. Oil extraction sites are creeping more and more North, such that gas flaring is directly affecting the surrounding permafrost. When these flares occur, ice is covered in soot which darkens the surface, thus trapping the heat and causing the ice beneath to melt faster. The researchers found that emissions from cook stoves at home are also playing a greater role in this black carbon pollution than previously estimated.


Down To Earth, October 2013